GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)-Pine Rest understands that while the Holidays can be a time for cheer and joy, it also can be a stressful time for parents and children.  They have several tips for dealing with stress and anxiety this holiday season.  When it comes to purchasing gifts, this season it can be hard on families and according to Licensed Clinical Social Worker Elizza LeJeune, it is important that we are transparent with our children.  Sit down with your child and talk about the gifts they want to as well as being mindful about Santa’s budget this year.  A lot of times we are afraid not to tell our kids that we cannot afford a gift or to tell them that they cannot have something which can lead to a worse outcome than just being open with our children.          

Elizza also gave some tips about things we can do and give for others without costing anything.  That could be making a meal for a loved one, friend or neighbor, or volunteering you time this Holiday season.  For kids, identify their love language.  If quality time is their way of feeling affection than simply spending time with them is one of the best gifts you can give them while not costing anything.

Our kids can feel and sense when we are stressed.  Many kids can feel excited about the Holidays at school doing fun activities and having Holiday parties but can be bogged down by the emotions their parents share about the Holidays.  Our children learn a lot of their behavior from their parents and if they are stressed during the holiday season, they may feel the same way and spread that energy to others.    

During the holidays it is also important not to fit too many things in.  It can be overwhelming for a child, especially if the struggle with depression or social anxiety to be around a lot of people or travel a lot of places.  Another important thing to help your child this Holiday season is to help keep a normal sleep pattern.  This will help make it easier for them to keep a normal routine for when they return to school after break. 

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