Stress Free Kids Creator, Lori Lite Shares Tips for Helping Kids Cope with Holiday Stress This Year
ATLANTA, December 03, 2009 –Tired children, late nights, cramped kitchens, argumentative relatives, crowded malls, overwhelming hosting duties, stretched budgets and high anxiety. These are the stressors that quickly replace the visions of feasting, exchanging gifts, and gathering with family and friends.
It is a joyous time, but also a very a stressful time. And not least of all, for children.
With all the changes in routines, traveling, entertaining and shopping crammed into this time of year, adults are well-acquainted with the stress the holidays can create. Children, on the other hand, are often the overlooked victims of stress during the season. Kids are particularly sensitive to changes, and the holidays are packed with them: new people coming and going and staying for visits, trips to grandma’s house, sleeping and eating routines disrupted. Coupled with the fact that kids readily pick up on stress from other family members (like parents) and the much-anticipated holiday season actually becomes a hotbed for stress and anxiety.
But while the stressors of the season are unlikely to change this year or next, there are a number of ways for parents to help their children cope with the stress that holidays can impose. Lori Lite, ex-stressed mom of three and creator of Stress Free Kids, has developed a line of children’s books, CDs, and lesson plans – ideal for the holiday season — to help children manage anxiety, stress, and anger while promoting self-esteem and peaceful sleep.
Lori offers the following tips for helping kids effectively deal with holiday stress.
- Keep a good schedule. Even though school’s out, kids should still go to bed at a reasonable time and get plenty of sleep. Routine helps ease the stress levels of both kids and parents, and a proper amount of sleep is a healthy stress reducer for kids.
- To shop or not to shop with the kids. When possible, organize adults-only shopping trips. Avoid taking the kids shopping when it involves several entries and exits from the car, or an overwhelming amount of stores. Plan an age appropriate shopping trip with your child for a special gift that helps you to bond with your child in a stress free way.
- Manage gatherings well. Kids often become overstimulated in a party environment, so opt for smaller get-togethers instead of a big bash, create assignments for kids to keep them occupied and involved, and maintain their usual meal schedule (even if this means a snack to hold kids over until dinner).
- When traveling, exude calm. Plan carefully, avoid rushing, and allow kids to pack something that makes them feel secure. Encourage the kids to explain the travel process to their stuffed animal. This empowers them and eases their anxiety of not knowing what to expect.
- Demonstrate relaxation techniques to children, or introduce them to those same techniques through a story or children’s book. Deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and affirmations are all helpful in reducing stress in kids.
- It’s the holidays- so enjoy them! Laughter is a proven stress reducer, so laugh with your children every day, teach them how to laugh at their own mistakes, and laugh when anger might be the first reaction.
- Get familiar with the family. If relatives are coming over, take the photo album out (or scroll through the digital camera) and point out to the kids what uncle Joe looks like, and which aunt is Aunt Veru. This preparation helps kids avoid the anxiety of being overwhelmed by new people.
To view some additional tips on our Stress Free Kids YouTube Channel
Lori Lite’s books are available from her website and Borders bookstores across the country. Her range of books offer effective stress and anxiety management techniques (like controlled breathing and progressive muscle relaxation) through creative stories for kids, and are used by Psychologists, Teachers, Therapists and Doctors around the country to deal with child anxiety and stress issues, as well as her Children’s Wellness Curriculum and Stress Awareness Curriculum for educators and parents.
They’re also the perfect gift for the kid (or parent) that hasn’t already asked Santa for a little less stress this season.
And wouldn’t that be the most wonderful gift of all?
Stress Free Kids founder Lori Lite has created a line of books and CDs designed to help children, teens, and adults decrease stress, anxiety, and anger. Ms. Lite’s books, CDs, and lesson plans are considered a resource for parents, psychologists, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and yoga instructors. Lori is a certified children’s meditation facilitator and Sears’ Manage My Life parenting expert. For more information visit Stress Free Kids and for daily advice follow Lori on Twitter and Facebook .