This is a very different holiday season. In fact, we have seen nothing like this in recent history. We are finding ways to create a holiday season in the middle of a global pandemic. This pandemic will limit our capacity to gather as families and do our normal traditions and interactions.
In some ways it is going to be more difficult for our children to stay regulated. They have been isolated and limited in so much of their normal life. It is easy to get excited, to act out and to be dysregulated as they experience this very different holiday. The best strategy is to begin early and set patterns of regulation that will help them get through the holidays in the best way possible.
Nicole Schwartz, a noted parenting coach, recently wrote an article offering tips to parents as to how to help their children get through the holidays with healthy brain states and regulation.
Here is a quote from her article:
I feel like there should be a warning for all parents around mid-November that reads: Caution. Self-regulation may be limited.
As the season’s shift and the store shelves begin to burst with the latest toys and flashy gadgets, kids dream of candy, Santa, and getting gifts for doing absolutely nothing.
That’s a lot of excitement to manage.
We feel it in ourselves – hurrying around, trying to get everything ready for the holidays – we’re running a little faster than normal.
Unfortunately, our kids are at a disadvantage.
They are still in the process of learning how to self-regulate. Knowing how to stay cool under pressure and be calm when a big wave of emotion hits.
This learning curve may mean big meltdowns, overwhelming anxiety, an overabundance of energy, and an increase in power struggles. Especially this time of year.
So how to do you help your child handle the holiday chaos?
She then continues to give parents some tips on how to regulate their children. She provides examples of how parents can be mindful, can connect to the needs of their children and have a bit more patience with them. These are helpful and simple tips that can help us all cope with this challenging holiday season.