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More is not always better. Often, with “more” comes more stress. Especially as parents of young children, we are dealing with “more” these days: more errands, more family issues, more family from out-of-town — you name it. All of these result in more on our to-do list.
We seem to have less time, patience and coping skills. The not-so-good news is that the children in our lives feel this stress. They are like little sponges, absorbing and picking it up. And we see this often in their choices and behaviors.
Children can indeed be affected adversely by changes and milestone events such as holidays, a new home or car, a new sibling, a new daily routine, a new caregiver or a change in the family structure. Observe the children in your life this week even more closely. There are signs they are picking up your stress. You may see some of these signs, which may only appear for a short time and then go away, or may last awhile:
So how can you help your child cope with how you may be feeling, and what you may be doing or over-doing?
Here are some suggestions that may help:
Establishing and keeping consistent routines during times of change helps children feel safe – they know what to expect every day. It also strengthens their brains and memory skills. By adding consistency to the day, children will begin to count on and look forward to what comes next.