How to Reduce Christmas Stress in Children

13 Dec

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

Holidays usually bring an increase in emotions, changes in routines and family stress in general. There’s so much needed to be done and so much excitement around the Holidays. The expectations are high and many things happening in December. Therefore the stress level always increases this last month of the year. That doesn’t only apply to grown ups because children can feel stressed too. Children can pick up parents’ stress.

Children show signs of stress by acting out, being worried or by being very hyper. Child might show behavior that  is not age appropriate, for example a potty-trained child might start having accidents around the holidays because of stress.

Here is a list about the best ways to reduce stress in children around the holidays

  1. Let kids be involved in the holiday baking.
  2. Give the children appropriate assignments, that fits their age, to help preparing for the holidays. You can for example let them help decorating the house. Involving children increases self-esteem, keeps their minds of other things and strengthens family bond.
  3. The American Psychiatric Association advises parents to let children participate in planning for the holidays. This way the children feel like they have some control over how the holiday will be and that can reduce uncertainty and stress.
  4. Don’t expect young children to sit at the table to long during Christmas dinner – its an unrealistic expectation.
  5. Children should maintain a regular bedtime as much as possible during the holidays.
  6. Limit TV and video games.
  7. Physical activities can be very helpful against stress and excitement – especially since children often show more hyper behavior around the Christmas time.
  8. Don’t “count the days” until Christmas – it can increase the stress level.
  9. Try to remember routines – specially if you have young children.
  10. Make time for the family to rest and relax together – have a nice, pleasurable evening together.

One Response to “How to Reduce Christmas Stress in Children”


  1. Holiday Reminders « Special Needs New Jersey - December 29, 2012

    […] How to Reduce Christmas Stress in Children ( […]

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