Winter break is fast approaching, and while it’s a wonderful time for families, it can also be a source of stress. Erika K. Coles, a psychologist in FIU’s Center for Children and Families, shares some tips that will help make the holiday season more enjoyable for all members of the family.
Keep routines as much as possible. This includes consistent bedtime, regular family meals and other routines. Take some time to read with your children. Although it’s nice to take a break from school work, it’s important that children continue to practice their reading skills even when school is not in session. This also allows families to spend quality time together. Communicate clear behavioral expectations to your children, especially given there may be changes in their routine or interactions with new people. Don’t presume your child knows what to do in a new situation. Give them positive guidelines. Model gratitude and appreciation. Many families will exchange gifts during this season and sometimes these gifts may not meet your child’s expectations. Showing them how to respond ahead of time by modeling gratitude can save you from potentially awkward situations with friends and family.
Coles is the clinical director for FIU’s Center for Children and Families.
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