Countdown to Christmas: 12 Things You Can Do for Your Kids that Don’t Involve Much Money and Actually Bring Happiness
When families are experiencing good times, and money is not in short supply (although when does that happen for most of us?!), it’s much easier to have a happy holiday season. However, during this merry but stressful time of year, many of us do not have the budgets we would like.
What do kids want these days? They’re probably dreaming of expensive, name brand clothes, electronic devices, etc. What kid would not love to have the latest version of a name-brand cell phone? Couple that with the fact that it’s only a little after parents have bought their kids back-to-school items, and a new wardrobe, inclusive of a winter coat and boots – both very expensive – since each year they outgrow last year’s things!
Here are some of our suggestions and thoughts:
Those of us who have or work with children with learning disabilities, especially Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD or the previous designation – ADD), understand that they can be a handful in almost any circumstance. However, when traveling, this can become nearly unbearable. Even just parenting them can be daunting, since it is hard to discern their abilities from their disabilities, and how much is well – just being a kid! Parents may feel a range of feelings, like inadequacy, anger, fear, grief, guilt, and more. Therefore, it is a great thing to learn to take care of yourself better. And the kids themselves also go through a range of similar feelings. Understand that, as well.
Let’s get back to traveling. Normal kids have a hard time sitting for any length of time, staying quiet and still. Add in some disabilities like ADHD, it is even more difficult to keep kids’ behaviors manageable. In one story published in ADDitude, a child was flying with her mother. A very astute and understanding flight attendant answered all of the child’s questions, and then she allowed her to help serve snacks, non-alcoholic drinks, and collected the trash afterwards. This child was even permitted to make the “prepare-for-landing announcement!” Apparently, the other passengers were enjoying this, and they did not seem disturbed at all. Disaster averted!
While the holiday season is supposed to be festive, create happy feelings, etc., that doesn’t mean it will automatically enhance our mental health. In fact, as many of us are painfully aware, it is not uncommon for people to feel angry, irritable, stressed out, and depressed at year’s end. Stressors include lack of time, money, too much commercialism, and pressures of giving gifts and being at family gatherings. So, if that happens, let’s find out how to turn it back around again!
Picture this: holiday music starts to be played in stores, homes, on the radio, and all throughout the internet. Visions of end-of-year festivities appear in the media, in store aisles, and delicious looking and smelling foods appear in restaurants, especially bakeries.
While many of us look forward to all the love, goodies, celebrations, family traditions, etc. that surround the holiday season, we are also aware of how stressful the holidays can be for individuals, family, and community. So, the question is, can we turn the stress around to something more positive so we can really enjoy the holiday season as it was meant to be experienced? Of course we can!
Can you believe it? It’s the holiday season again. Is time flying by or is it just me?! It is at this time that we expect to feel happiness and joy, but what are some other things that often happen? We can feel stress, anxiety, depression, and more…. It is for many who have suffered serious losses a time of grieving.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.