Friday, December 15, 2006

Create Rituals That Connect You

This article came at just the right time for me.

[It is from the Catholic Herald, so it has a Christian perspective.]

"Consider the child who likes his routine. Consider the child with autism, sensory integration, or other neurological challenges. The hullabaloo and the expectations of the season only accentuate the very real stresses that exist for these children."

"Stress sneaks up on us, and as a result we often don't even realize it's taking its toll. Kids never say, ‘Gee, Mom or Dad, I'm really hurting.’ Instead they throw tantrums, hit their siblings or the neighbor kids, forget their homework, start having toileting accidents... complain of headaches and stomachaches and refuse to sleep in their own bed or go upstairs alone.""And to make matters worse, 90 percent of their stress is tied to our own."Children sense our tension. We compound it with disruptions in routines, sleep deprivation, and all sorts of poor eating adventures. And, though we certainly don’t set out to, we put pressure on them, too. They know they are supposed to be happy and they are troubled when the party that is supposed to be fun is really very trying. They know they are supposed to behave especially well in front of Great Aunt Hilda and instead they have a total meltdown."

The essay also offers some good advice, like limit television, preserve nighttime rituals, make sure your children are getting enough sleep - stuff we know, but might forget during this busy time.

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