Keeping Child Development in Mind During the Holidays
The end of the year is filled with holiday traditions and celebrations that are meant to be joyous and merry. Gatherings bring families and friends together for festivities and camaraderie. Children and adults alike feel the excitement in the air. Unfortunately, instead of excitement some people become overwhelmed with feelings of anticipation, anxiety, and stress.
There are countless articles and social media posts reminding adults of steps they can take to relieve stress this holiday season. One can usually find a stress relief tip or two that resonates with their particular situation and helps them navigate this fun and busy time of year.
But what about stress-relief tips for children? Where can they turn when the stress of the holiday season becomes too much? Are they even able to make the connection between the stress of the season and stress-reducing strategies they could employ?
Unfortunately, there are too few calming outlets for young children to utilize when they become overwhelmed even if they can recognize what they are experiencing. They cannot decide to withdraw from events. They don’t recognize when it is time to take a break. They may not have the capacity to independently practice deep breathing techniques. Their stress manifests in different ways, often in what adults consider to be inappropriate behaviors.
Children need adults who notice the signs of stress and take action to address the stress in the environment. They need adults who take the time to help them recognize stress and communicate how they are feeling in appropriate ways. And they definitely need adults who understand how stress impacts young children and avoid creating undue stress in the first place.
This is an important time of year for adults to review common theories of child development and consider how the holiday season can have an impact on children’s experiences, actions, and behaviors. In this month’s newsletter, we will highlight just a few theories of child development as a reminder of where young children are so that we can create realistic expectations for children and provide them with a few stress-reducing tools of their own.
For the article Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, CLICK HERE
For the article Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development, CLICK HERE
For the article Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, CLICK HERE
For the article Executive Functions, CLICK HERE