Winter break is often long awaited by students and adults alike. Kids are excited to spend time with family and visit with relatives from out of town. In the midst of the joyful season, the business of the holidays can often leave students feeling more tired going back to school than when they began their break. Here are some helpful tips to help in creating a successful winter break and making good memories this Christmas.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Sleeping in over the holidays is always eagerly anticipated. However, it is important to not let your kids’ sleep schedules become irregulated. If their sleep schedule is drastically altered, it will be difficult to get their bodies adjusted in time for school to start and will result in greater fatigue. If you are wanting to stay up later and sleep-in longer for the break, try to have “down time” start around the same time, keeping the evening saved for movies, book reading, puzzles, etc.
Maintain a Balance of Rest and Fun
Kids need to be able to continue getting their exercise throughout the day, while also having time to rest so they don’t get physically and emotionally burnt out. It can be difficult to find a calm schedule over the holidays, especially in big families or families who have been affected by divorce. If your family is one that has many Christmases to attend, try spreading them out over the break so you aren’t jamming 10 events into two days. Children still need a resemblance of consistency over the break, even if it’s just keeping meal times around their usual schedule. For older children, give them permission to step out into another room if they need a break from the chaos.
Create Traditions that Make Memories
Toys are a fun part of Christmas, but winter break can be so much more! Take time to do fun things as a family. Looking at Christmas lights, going ice skating, decorating gingerbread houses, and playing board games are some fun examples of family bonding activities. Look for ways to encourage your kids to work together as a team to discourage fighting and comparison between them. Give them options of activities to choose from so they feel like they have some control over their schedules.
Encourage Communication of Their Emotions
Give children a space to communicate their excitement for the things they received and enjoyed throughout Christmas break. Encourage them to share what they observed made others happy. This helps them identify their own emotions, as well as developing their ability to sense others’ emotions. Listen to their concerns or disappointments they may experience from unmet expectations. Help them to identify and communicate their emotions, and inform them disappointment can and will happen sometimes. Then, encourage them with the knowledge that they don’t have to let their disappointment ruin their time! After acknowledging their negative emotions, redirect them to gratitude for the things they did receive. This teaches them to be thankful even in the midst of disappointment.
Remember Christ in Christmas
One of the most powerful things you can do during winter break is include the birth of Christ in your Christmas traditions. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both share details of the story of Jesus’ birth. Growing up, each year at my Mawmaw’s we read the Christmas story before opening presents. This tradition reminded us all that while all of the presents and food are great, there is a more important person being celebrated. Jesus’ birth shows God’s faithfulness, mercy, and love. An angel of the Lord told shepherds in Luke 2, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (verse 11). When we draw our hearts and minds to Christ during Christmas, we have the opportunity to give praise to God for the greatest gift ever given!
Winter Break Can Be A Great Time To Spend With Your Teen
Kayla Wright is a frequent guest author on this blog. She joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky in May of this year. The passion of her counseling work is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Teens and pre-teens.
Kayla is nationally licensed as a Christian Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association. She possesses an advanced board certification in Child & Adolescent Therapy. Kayla gained extensive experience and credibility in providing counseling to teens and pre-teens during her tenure on the staff of Revive Christian Counseling in Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky. She is highly skilled in teenage substance abuse counseling and teenage depression counseling.
Kayla Wright, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky. She also offers online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our Counseling for teens and pre-teens in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at email@example.com