The holidays are thought of as a magical time of year, but stress and pressure from extra activities, shopping and high expectations can impact family harmony. Glen Aylward, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at SIU School of Medicine, says there are a variety of stressors that can affect children. He says behavioral challenges might include emotional volatility and anxiety. He offers tips for parents to make the holidays more fun and less stressful, which will make their children’s behaviors more acceptable.
Aylward advises parents to guide children away from the material issues of the holiday and get into the giving – the actual spirit of the season. Help them donate a gift to someone less fortunate. If a child’s behavior becomes more disruptive or doesn’t return to normal soon after the holidays, the child may need to see his or her doctor or a pediatric counselor.