Family Stress Relievers – December 2014

The holiday season is here! As much fun as it can be, it can also be a stressful time of year for parents.

According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Downtown Milwaukee, Milwaukee’s southside, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “It’s important for families to realize that the holidays don’t need to be a time of year when we feel pushed to our limits. Instead, they should find a balance and choose activities their families will truly enjoy during this special time of year.”

Anderson suggests that part of the key to minimizing your stress over the holidays is to plan ahead and schedule what you really want or need to do for the holidays such as decorating the house, trimming the tree, purchasing gifts, making cookies, and wrapping gifts.

She says by doing so, you can see how you best manage your time and decide what your children can assist you with and what will be easier to accomplish without having them try to help.

“If shopping with your children stresses you out, hire a babysitter and make it a date night activity with your spouse. Or, you if really enjoy trimming the tree, then make that a special occasion and take the time to make sure your entire family enjoys the process.”

Learn to Say No and Relax
If you find yourself being invited to too many activities during the holidays, Anderson says it’s important to learn to say “no.” Force yourself to slow down and find time to relax.

“Saying ‘no’ can be liberating,” says Anderson. “And selecting only a few activities for your family means that you can enjoy those activities more, because you won’t be rushing around. You should never feel bad about declining an invitation when you are putting the wellness of your family first.”

Instead of chasing around to activities you don’t want to go to, Anderson recommends that you stay home and read stories under the Christmas tree with your children.

“It’s a magical activity that helps everyone unwind during the holidays, as well as a tradition your children will always remember. Another family activity could be taking a walk after or during a snowfall to admire the neighborhood’s lights. Slowing down can be can be a great thing for everyone.”

Get Your Sleep
Anderson also suggests that you try very hard throughout the holiday season to make sure your children are staying on their schedules and getting enough sleep each night.

“One reason why so many people get sick over the holidays is that they spread themselves too thin, then they get stressed out and become run down,” says Anderson. “Don’t let this happen to your family. Remember that the average preschooler need 11-13 hours of sleep each night and children ages five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep.”

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers free Parenting Talks and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.

The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.