We’re delivering this blog to you from our friends and colleagues over at Marble Wellness. Their team has some tips and tricks to share with our audience and we love to spread helpful tips as much as possible.


The holiday season, with its twinkling lights and festive cheer, can be a magical time for many. 


But let’s face it, holidays can also be tough for kids. 


The whirlwind of activities, overstimulation, changes in routines, and the weight of high expectations can take their toll. And for some children, this time of year may bring more than just holiday cheer; it may also bring anxiety, depression, grief, or stress. As a licensed mental health therapist, I want to share some ways you can help your kids manage their emotions and mental health while still enjoying a happy holiday season.


Understanding the Emotional Complexities for Kids at the Holidays


Holidays can be a mixed bag of emotions for kids. The excitement of gifts and gatherings is often balanced with the stress of new schedules and expectations. However, for some children, the emotional landscape may be more complex. They could be navigating the loss of a loved one, the recent divorce of their parents, or another significant life change.


In such cases, it’s crucial to recognize that the holiday season can bring not only joy but also grief, anxiety, depression, or stress, or even a mix of all these emotions.


8 Tips for Helping Kids Navigate Emotional Complexities at the Holidays


  1. Embrace Open Conversations


The first step in helping your children manage their emotions during the holidays is to create an environment where they feel safe expressing their feelings. Engage in open and honest conversations with them. Encourage them to talk about what they’re experiencing and assure them that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions.


Child therapy can be a valuable resource for children who are struggling to cope with emotional challenges during the holidays. The amazing team of therapists at Grace Family Counseling   can help kids understand their feelings, develop coping strategies, and provide a safe space for them to express their emotions.


  1. Establish Realistic Expectations


Holiday movies and advertisements often depict picture-perfect celebrations. However, in reality, holidays can be chaotic and imperfect. It’s essential to set realistic expectations for the season, especially when your child is dealing with emotional difficulties. Encourage your children to focus on the moments of connection and joy rather than striving for perfection.


In child therapy, children can learn to manage their expectations and understand that it’s okay for things not to go exactly as planned. This skill can be particularly helpful during the holidays.


  1. Create a Safe Haven of Traditions


Traditions can be a source of comfort and stability for children. Consider establishing holiday traditions that cater to your child’s emotional needs. These traditions can provide a sense of continuity and support during what might be a challenging time.


In child therapy, kids can learn the importance of establishing meaningful traditions and routines. They can apply these lessons to create their own holiday traditions, whether it’s lighting a special candle in memory of a loved one or engaging in an activity that brings them comfort and joy.


  1. Empower Your Child


Empower your child to take an active role in their emotional well-being during the holidays. Encourage them to make choices that align with their therapy needs and emotional health. For instance, involve them in planning activities or outings that they find enjoyable and less stressful.


In child therapy, children can develop essential skills such as self-advocacy and self-care. Teach your child to communicate their emotional needs to others and ask for support when required.


  1. Prioritize Self-Care


In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget the importance of self-care. Teach your child about the value of taking time for themselves, whether it’s through relaxation techniques learned in child therapy, reading a favorite book, or pursuing a hobby they love.


Taking short breaks during holiday gatherings can also provide an opportunity to recharge and manage emotional well-being. Encourage your child to practice deep breathing or mindfulness exercises to alleviate stress and anxiety.


  1. Seek Support and Connection


The holidays are all about connections, and seeking support from friends, family, or support groups can make a significant difference. Reach out to loved ones who understand your child’s unique needs and can offer empathy and assistance.


If your child is receiving child therapy, consider engaging with support groups tailored to their emotional challenges. These groups can provide valuable insights, emotional support, and a sense of belonging.


  1. Encourage Gratitude and Positivity


Holidays are an excellent time to teach your child the importance of gratitude and positivity. Encourage your children to reflect on what they are thankful for each day. Focusing on the positive aspects of life can enhance emotional well-being and resilience.


  1. Show Your Love and Affection


Love and affection are powerful healers. Make sure your child knows how much you love and care for them. Offer reassurance that you’re there to support them through the ups and downs of the holiday season and beyond.


In conclusion, helping children navigate their emotions and mental health during the holidays requires understanding, open communication, realistic expectations, meaningful traditions, empowerment, self-care, and seeking support and connection. Encouraging gratitude and love can foster a warm and nurturing environment for your child to thrive emotionally. Remember that professional resources, like child therapy, can be a valuable asset when facing emotional challenges during the holiday season. By focusing on emotional well-being, you can help your child have a happy and fulfilling holiday season.