TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - When we think of kids and the holidays,
family concerns, stress, and anxiety aren't typically things we
associate with the gift-giving season.
While this can be a wonderful time of year, families can also feel
pressured to meet expectations, stay within a budget, and maintain a
packed holiday schedule - and those experiences can hold true for both
kids and parents.
Kids can especially be affected at this time of year when they see that
their parents are preoccupied with holiday-related obligations or
concerns, the sorrow of having lost a parent, or when the adults in
their lives may be consuming more alcohol than usual.
This holiday season, Kids Help Phone counsellors are available to talk
about what kids and parents can do to help alleviate stress this
Why we want to talk about it
Family issues account for 13% of contacts Kids Help Phone receives.
Whatever the source of holiday stress, it is a very real problem for
young people who experience it. This December, Kids Help Phone wants to
start a discussion on how kids and adults can work together to keep
holiday stress at a minimum.
What our experts are saying
"No matter what time of year it is, parents still need to remain
parents," says Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, a professional counsellor at Kids
Help Phone. "Kids need someone to provide consistent structure,
guidance, and discussion, no matter what the issue is, and no matter
what time of year it is."
Tips for parents
Coping with the holidays can be overwhelming, for parents and kids. One
suggestion is to be open to doing things differently.
With the excitement and the stress the season usually brings, you can
count on both kid and adults getting irritated.
"Ask your kids if they want to be part of the holiday planning," Roberts
says. "If you sit down with them and say 'I'm feeling a bit
overwhelmed,' asking for their input empowers them and helps them feel
involved, and can also help take some of the pressure off you. It can
also help to hire a babysitter or arrange to share child care with
another parent in a trade to support each other. Ask if they can watch
your kids while you run errands, or even just to keep them entertained
while you're busy at home."
Roberts and other Kids Help Phone professionals are available to talk
about more tips and tricks to making it all work this holiday season.
Kids Help Phone is Canada's only phone and on-line counselling service
for youth. It's free, anonymous and confidential. Professional
counsellors are available any time of the day or night, 365 days a
year, to help young people deal with concerns large or small. As a
national community-based charity, Kids Help Phone relies on individual
and corporate donations to fund these vital services.
SOURCE: Kids Help Phone
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