Don't begin talking about holidays too early.
Children have a limited concept of time…they live in the “now.” It’s hard for them to wait “one week” or “one month.” Try to avoid starting holiday excitement (especially about presents) too early. Have several small events to help bring in the season.
Emphasize your family’s religious or cultural traditions and why they are important.
Involve your child in cooking, singing, gift wrapping and all of the traditions your family holds dear. You may want to start a new tradition together. Being part of a family tradition helps increase your child’s sense of security and personal identity; not to mention their own uniqueness. These elements are critical to positive self-esteem.
Monitor your own holiday stress level.
This is a time of year when adults often worry about financial or family strains. Try to focus on the basic elements of your family and your child’s uniqueness. Take some time for yourself!
Help your child understand that other children may celebrate the holidays in different ways.
Every family is different, and each family does what is right for them.
Encourage your child to ask questions about holiday customs and beliefs.
Children often see and hear things that puzzle them. Many of their questions are ones which require personalized answers. Affirm their natural curiosity and make time to respond to your child’s questions. Keep your answers simple and factual.
Find ways to show your child that holidays are also times for thinking of others.
Remember that holidays are always a time to give and share with others, even on a small scale. Teach your child that giving is a joyful thing…a picture for Grandma, a glittered pine cone for a neighbor, etc. Children are capable and should be helped to think beyond their own wants.
We wish you a joyous holiday season! Family and friends are the best part of holidays. We appreciate the riches that our preschool friends bring us. Happy, healthy New Year!
All the best to you,
Christie Erhart, Director
Early Childhood Education