Holiday Cheer…Oh Dear!

Minimising stress and surviving the ‘silly season’

School holidays and Christmas have snuck up on us this year. For some this is the first time in nearly three years when families are planning trips interstate or overseas to see their nearest and dearest.

Even the calmest, most angelic kids can be thrown through a loop when the chaos of the unexpected is mixed with an ample dose of excitement and holiday cheer.

Here are some tips to ensure that everyone (including parents) enjoy the holidays whether they are at home or on an exotic adventure:

  • Visual calendars counting down the sleeps until the holidays are a great way to get the whole family involved
  • Planning ahead, and discussing any time away from home- where, when, and how you’re getting there, so children know what to expect
  • Showing photos or websites to help children understand what the holiday will be like and what it will entail
  • Have a holiday itinerary regardless of whether you are going away or staying home – a general plan or a plan for each day, e.g. free play at home, vacation care, travelling, park days, beach days, shopping, time with Gran.
  • Get your children to research activities they might be interested in, e.g. local parks, pools nearby, zoos, ten pin bowling, great picnic spots
  • Look at what’s on offer through your local council. Many have holiday activities available for children and parents alike.

Here is also a list of some great websites with a whole bunch of ideas for your kids to try, so they can’t complain about being “bored”!

By Kim McGregor (Senior Psychologist)

Kim McGregor is a registered Psychologist with a Master’s degree in Educational & Developmental Psychology. She has worked extensively with infants, children and their families in not for profit, early childhood, specialised school and government multidisciplinary settings providing assessment, diagnosis and treatment for their developmental, cognitive, social, emotional and learning needs.

Her goal is to always work from a person centred and family focused partnership with parents providing clear communication, empathy and support throughout the journey of understanding and helping their child.

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