There’s nothing like seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes. The wonder, the surprise, the pure joy of a all that Christmas magic, maybe topped off with a freshly fallen layer of fluffy white snow, perfect for sledding and snowman building. But when the temperatures plummet, gale-force winds rattle the windows, the roads are closed, and Santa and his helpers can’t make it through the snow…well…welcome to Christmas 2022. More than this, even the youngest child will pick up on adult anxiety. We were all worried about loved ones, power going out, road closures, long-made plans not happening.
What Happens Now?
Following a traumatic event, it’s important to remember that our children and teens are also impacted by the loss of control over what’s happening to them.
Here are some ways to support our younger friends and family members:
- Give them space. Let them feel and express their emotions. Share how you’re feeling with them, too.
- Include them. Let them help with some decision making. Ask them what they want to wear today. When you’re planning dinner, give them two choices and ask them to help you decide.
- Self-care for everyone. Practicing self-care with kids can reduce stress and promote a sense of safety. Make it part of your daily routine, whether it’s cuddling together with a cup of cocoa, doing some yoga together, or listening to your favorite songs.
- Be creative! Coloring is relaxing for little kids and big kids, too. Check out https://www.supercoloring.com for free, printable coloring pages.
- Get outside. When it’s safe to do so, bundle up, take a walk, even if it’s just outside your door. Absorb some natural Vitamin D and if the packing is good, make that snowman. Reminding kids (and yourself) about nature’s beauty after especially stormy days can be uplifting.
Need more? Spectrum Health’s Buffalo Hope team is a phone call away, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm at 716-566-6506.
Spectrum Health Buffalo Hope