Kids Help Phone professional counsellors are available for media interviews about holiday stress

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 holiday season.

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

For further information:

To set up an interview, please contact:
416-581-8955


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