With the ever changing rules and regulations, tiers, imposed lockdowns and fears around whether it’s safe to mix with elderly relatives and should we shop for gifts or just stay safe at home? And while we think about it “what’s going to happen in January about returning to school?” “Will we ever get back to some sort of relative normality?”
The fears and anxiety around COVID aren’t going away and with every conflicting news story our anxiety increases and without even realising we are passing these feelings onto our children. There is not much we can do to avoid this as these fears are very real to us and even if we try not to voice these fears our body language and tone of voice can give us away.
So how to manage children’s anxiety? We can reassure them that things will be ok, but sometimes do we truly believe that enough when we are just as confused and just when we think things are moving forward they take three steps back.
So we need to make things as calm for ourselves and our children as possible, so even though it is the holiday season, trying to get enough sleep, which is crucial for a clear head, keeping a balanced diet and getting outside as often as possible can also help. Trying something new as a family will help to create new Christmas traditions, especially when usual traditions have to go out of the window.
Try and keep Christmas as simple as possible. It’s times like these when we and others are struggling financially that we pare back on the non-essential things of past Christmases. Cosiness and festiveness are key, creating feelings of calm and safety, snuggle down and watch family films under duvets, light candles (out of reach of little hands and maybe dogs tails! would be sensible!), play board games or digital games together, cuddle, breath and hibernate. Make the most of this time together, take it slow and let each other simply be. Make the most important things for children at Christmas time be their safety at home, hold space for them to ask questions and voice their fears and if we can’t answer those questions then honestly tell them you don’t know. We don’t really know from one day to the next do we? But we are all in this together and we are there for each other no matter what.
Stay safe this Christmas and i wish you a peaceful, calm and happy time xx