Five Ways to Help Your Child Overcome a Challenging Holiday Season
1) Be Open With Your Student
For most students, holiday breaks are a much-needed release from the rigors of the academic calendar. For some, however, it can be an added source of anxiety. As a parent, you have a greater opportunity than anyone else to sit down with your student and discuss the ways in which they find the holidays difficult.
For some, thoughts of the “elf on the shelf” or Santa Clause, watching their every move, can actually cause a lot of stress to a young child.
What many Christian parents are finding is that it is best to be honest with your students about what Christmas is actually about: Christ Jesus. It’s not about fictitious characters, but rather about giving glory to God for sending His Son to die for us. If these truths are communicated, many children will find themselves under much less pressure.
2) Acknowledge Others’ Situations
While some students think of Christmas break as a time for gifts, food, and family, others experience it quite differently. As was just mentioned, for some, it creates situations that heighten a child’s pre-existing anxiety. For others, such as those within poverty or those who come from a split family, it serves as a reminder of what they don’t have.
This year, try to help your child in being empathetic towards other students who come from different backgrounds and who have family situations less fortunate than their own. Together, with your student, perhaps try to come up with some ideas as to how you together might make things better or easier for the students who are less fortunate than your family.
3) Build the Support
What better time than the holiday breaks to spend as much time with your student(s) as possible? Most families do not understand the full power of open discussion with and offering support to their students. As early as birth, human beings are crucially aided by their parents speaking with them.
Likewise, one of the most powerful ways a parent can encourage positive behavior is by telling their student that they are proud of them for what they’ve accomplished. Let the holiday season be a time when your student knows that they have your full support and love. You will be surprised as to the results that come from this!
4) Keep Habits Up
As we have discussed in a previous blog post, over holiday breaks, students can often lose a lot of the learning which they gained during the school year. To prevent this, don’t let a break from classwork mean a complete break from study. You have (hopefully) been faithful in making sure your student takes the time to complete their homework assignments this school year.
Try to keep up some of that same schedule, just not as intense. Just a few questions a day regarding what they learned can be the difference in remembering or forgetting crucial learning.
Likewise, if your student has been following a consistent sleeping schedule, it is within their best interest to maintain this schedule throughout breaks. While it might be tempting for your student to stay up past midnight when there is no school the next day, it will undoubtedly cause difficulty in readjusting to the school schedule once it begins again.
Rather than go through this unhealthy cycle, the wiser choice is to keep the same sleeping schedule throughout the break!
We hope some of these tips are helpful in your efforts as a parent! We know being a parent isn’t easy, but it certainly isn’t as hard when we make active efforts to guide our students in wisdom and godliness.
If you would like to know anything more about Emmanuel Lutheran School and our STEAM-based curriculum, we would love to answer your questions and schedule a tour for you to see and meet teachers and faculty. Contact Emmanuel Lutheran School for more information!