- December 6, 2022
- Posted by: Highest Education
- Category: Highs & Lows
As we enter into the joyful holiday season, it is important to remember the holidays are times for celebration but also present challenges for some children and families who have experienced loss. We don’t mean little loss, but big loss. The kind that Jesus and his community experienced.
Data shows us that 45% of teens and 25% of tweens report increased worry and stress this year resulting in somatic complaints including headaches, stomachaches, difficulty concentrating, sleeping and eating too much or too little. Children and adults can experience feelings of loneliness and sadness during holiday occasions.
Around the table or during family time, remember it is OK to recognize those who are missing at the table. Here are some ideas:
● share a favorite memory with that person to honor their memory.
● share what you learned from them
● share what they taught you.
● share what it is that you want to hold on about them for future generations to know
● Add a picture of the loved one to the tree
● share a favorite gift that your loved one gave
● start a tradition or continue a tradition that your loved one began
Here are some do’s and don’ts:
Do Celebrate- honor your missing loved ones.
Don’t ignore the holidays, continuing traditions with children is important; let them be kids.
Do recognize strong emotions (sadness, pain, anger, frustration) of your children and family members that are part of the grieving process.
Do talk about happy memories of loved ones that are not there.
Do discuss what family traditions to continue and what to let go.
Don’t isolate yourself; keep in touch with a support network.
Do keep to schedules if possible (naps, bedtimes, dinners).
Do bless other families if possible to model giving to others.
Do take care of yourself- listen to your body, if hungry, eat; if tired, nap.
Do plan ahead for traffic when shopping, tired kids when going out.
Don’t ignore serious concerns that require professional attention (loss of sleep, not eating, slipping of grades, excessive crying, self harm, talking of suicide or how it would be if “I” was missing -even joking.