Counselor - December

Mrs. Bacher - Counselor
Posted on 12/04/2019
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Happy December!  Our first trimester is in the books and here come the holidays!  Due to conferences and an unexpected three days of absence because of an illness I was not in classrooms as much as I’d like in November.  I look forward to returning to our Second Step lessons this month. In most grades we are working on recognizing and identifying feelings.

Speaking of the holidays that are approaching, I recently read an article called “Holidays and Meltdowns:  They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly.”  Although my boys are older I remember well that parenting can be more challenging during the holiday season.  This article fits in well with our focus in counseling lessons on recognizing and expressing feelings.  The author pointed out that children naturally have “big” feelings on big occasions and that this is something that is experienced in all families when there is a big event.  This is because often parents have extra stress and demands during the holidays and children tend to pick up on that and be more anxious and stressed themselves.  Also, hopes can be high for that “perfect” event so if there is disappointment for a child or parent it is felt more strongly during the holidays than at other times.  The article pointed out that meltdowns are almost certain to happen during the holidays and by being supportive and allowing children to express their feelings it can help a child work through the tension and safely release those uncomfortable feelings like sadness, anger or frustration.

The good news is that there are ways to minimize meltdowns and help the holidays go more smoothly.  Keeping a normal routine as much as possible can help as well as making sure your child gets plenty of sleep – for most elementary aged students 9 to 11 hours a night is recommended. This can also help at school with learning.  Also, if you take some time for yourself away from the demands of the holiday season, you will be more ready to be patient with your child.  Most children love adult attention so finding an activity that you and your child can do together is very rewarding and can avoid your child seeking negative attention.  The activities do not have to be complicated or expensive, just a chance for your child to have your undivided attention.  Some ideas include playing a favorite game, cooking, reading a holiday story together or starting another family tradition.  In my family we decorated gingerbread houses each year.  Find something that works best for your family and have fun! 

If you would like to read more about this topic or find other parenting strategies you can go to https://www.handinhandparenting.org/.

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