Some parents might not realise it, but Christmas can be a stressful or anxious time for kids, not just adults.
The pressures of Christmas Day can be quite overwhelming for children who suffer from anxiety and some kids will worry about various different things over the Christmas period.
Christmas time is amazing, but it also means a lot of free time and less structure and routine, which may throw your child off if they find themselves a little anxious.
Helping your child enjoy the festive season is important, so let your child know their anxieties are normal but that you want to help them too.
Make sure you talk to your child, as most kids just need to feel they are being heard and know that they can come to you when they need you to.
If you think your child is suffering from some anxiety, talk to them about their feelings and ask how you can help.
Your child may need more notice for such a busy week of events and if they are feeling overwhelmed you may need to give them a break and not drag them to every event or occasion.
Discuss what you may be doing with your child and let them steer you in terms of what you must do and what you don’t have to do. You may not like missing out on things so perhaps, between you and your partner, you can sort out arrangements for your child so they can enjoy Christmas without feeling a huge amount of pressure.
Talk to the rest of the family about your child and let them know how your child feels. This way, they can be gentle with your youngster and give him/her space if or when they need it.
Allow your child time with loved ones but gauge how they manage all the meet and greets and let them leave if they need to or let them go into a quiet room and relax with others. It is important that you understand their needs and let them lead you if they need to.
Make sure your child eats well as some kids don’t eat much when they are stressed and while picky eating is not entirely surprising, not eating at all is not good for any youngster.
Keep an eye on tummy aches or headaches that stay during the busy Christmas period and make sure your child gets enough sleep. If they look tired or stressed, let your child take time to rest and refuel. It might be that they just need some chill out time and will relax if they are doing nothing for a while.
Let your child do what they would like, make sure you all get enough exercise and don’t let your kiddies stay indoors for long periods of time. Try and find a common ground where they will meet people, chat and have fun with family before being allowed to retreat if they want to.
If your child is anxious on Christmas Day, remind them that it is a lovely time of year and not to worry. Take it step-by-step and know that your child will be fine with you and your family to help them.