Ways to Support a Child’s Emotions at Christmas Time

When you talk about Christmas to the child in your care, do you see glee and excitement in their face? Are they happy, laughing or smiling? Do they tell you about the fond memories they have of Christmas’s they have had in the past? Or, does the child in your care look sad, frightened or confused? Do they suddenly get withdrawn, angry or enraged? Or do they simply run away from the conversation?

Christmas day can be a hive of busy people, high emotions, unknown traditions and much more activity than usual. If the child in your care’s behaviour starts to escalate, then it is a sign that their emotions are overwhelming them. There are some things that you can do to help the child regulate their emotions.

Supporting a child through this busy time requires the adults around the child to be regulated. Are our own emotions regulated? Are we calm? Do we feel as though we can engage in a conversation with our child? Are we open and engaged or are we feeling defensive? It is important to accept how and what the child is feeling – (whether happy, excited, scared, confused or something else), it lets the child know that their ‘big feeling’ has been understood by you and that it is okay to feel that way.

And at the end of the day, when your emotions and energy cup are running low, remember to take a breath. Sit down, put your feet up, do something that relaxes you. You can only give as much of yourself as you have to give.  Take time to refill that cup of energy, as tomorrow, you will again give all of you that you have to give, and that is what makes you a wonderful caregiver.

If you need support over this Christmas/ Holiday time, please give us a call. Our National Office will be closed from the 24th of December and will reopen on the 6th of January. For more information on what to do if you are in need of support during this time, click here.

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