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Christmas break and family life

17 December 2018

We all love the magic of Christmas! We have been getting ready for the last few weeks and been to see Christmas concerts, nativity plays, school fairs and a few more. Kids are buzzing with excitement, adolescents can’t wait to sleep until noon and grown ups are looking forward to some family time,  maybe just with the closest family as perhaps we don’t have the strength to deal with anymore Christmas stress.

We have all been sold to the idea of family time during Christmas; but sometimes we dread it, somewhere down deep in our hearts. From my work as a counsellor I can see there has been a lot of excitement among my clients talking about the Christmas break but also a lot of apprehension – both from teenagers and their parents. You probably wonder why? It is supposed to be ‘a most wonderful time of the year’ as the song says. But it may be not. I will only share here why:

  1. Tiredness
  2. Expectations
  3. Children and adolescents have no structured time – hence they may feel a bit lost *
  4. More TV and social media – how to stop it???  *
  5. Sibling interactions – more time 
  6. Parent child interactions

Children look forward to Christmas and can get over preoccupied with material things, with the excitement about presents, which is fine. But it’s also important in this season to find alternative activities which promote a different mindset. For instance family walks gan be great to promote social play, try and have a fun objective in mind.