Magazine article USA TODAY

Kids Stressed out by the Season

Magazine article USA TODAY

Kids Stressed out by the Season

Article excerpt

With the extra shopping, errands, school activities, travel, parties, family gatherings, and the inevitable missed naps, children's behavior can become "basically unmanageable" over the holidays, warns Maria Schmidt, an assistant professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. "Kids really thrive on routine. When they know what's going on and know what to expect, they know how to behave"

Schmidt offers the following tips:

* Adjust your expectations concerning your children's behavior--acknowledge that their routines have changed, and thus their behavior will be different.

* Listen to the kids. Their behavior is how they communicate, Schmidt points out.

* Do not worry so much about what extended family members think. Unless they have small children, they likely will not understand how disruptive eating dinner during nap time, for example, can be.

Moreover, keep in mind that visiting relatives during the holiday season may be more stressful to your toddler than you imagine. Newborns to children age six feel the stress their parents experience. …

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