Children need routines to avoid anxiety since structure and routines give them emotional security and when all that is broken, they feel insecure. With the holidays in the air, children may feel relieved but there are also other children who feel nervous and anxious.
Many children actually experience an increase in anxiety during rest . Anxious children rely on carefully crafted routines, and too little structure or shifting routines can feel overwhelming.
WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY IN CHILDREN
There are several factors that can negatively affect anxious children during school holidays :
- New daily routines. Children with anxiety thrive in familiar environments with a good amount of structure because they like to know what will come next. The problem with school vacations is that routines generally change. Whether a child is enrolled in a school vacation program, or staying home , rules and expectations change. Lack of predictability and structure can be worrying and stressful, which can lead to more tantrums at home.
- Excessive programming. Parents can view rest as an opportunity to help their children step out of their comfort zone by charging them with bright new experiences. Many parents view the holidays as a time for children to recover, improve, or gain a head start, and enroll them in numerous classes or activities, leaving little or no time for children to relax and rejuvenate. Hoarding and filling time only adds to the stress and anxiety that, ideally, school holidays are theoretically designed to reduce this .
- Changes in eating habits. Holidays are often treated as a time to relax the rules and enjoy junk food more . While a little indulgence is always fun, too much of a good thing (or straying too far from the healthy balance you strive for throughout the year) can affect the way children feel physically and emotionally.
- Changes in habits sleep . It’s common for children to have periods when they don’t sleep well, but poor or inconsistent sleep patterns can negatively affect mental health. Sleep and anxiety have a pretty complicated relationship . Sleep problems predict increasing anxiety symptoms, and children with anxiety have a hard time falling asleep. It is necessary that children continue to sleep at a reasonable hour on vacation.
- Too much screen time. Many children enjoy technology and use screens to connect with their friends or complete their downtime. However, the excessive use of screens increases the risk of suffering from anxiety and depression.
- Travel worries. Family trips can be a lot of fun and create lifelong memories, but they can also be stressful. From flight anxiety and travel delays to sleeping in strange places and dealing with change, travel isn’t always easy for little ones .
WHAT TO DO TO CONTROL THAT CHILDHOOD ANXIETY ON VACATION
Although there is no easy solution , parents can take steps to help prepare anxious children for the changes that occur during school holidays:
- Get back to basics. A nutrition balanced (including occasional extra) lots of water and exercise, sleep routine consistent, regular downtime and unstructured play are essential to help a child with anxiety thrive during school holidays.
- Trust your instincts. You don’t have to accept every playdate invites or force a sleepover. Take the opportunity to tune in to your child’s needs and focus on creating a relaxing vacation .
- Maintain the usual sleep routine. Consider using white noise , soothing music, dark tones, or even a special blanket to help your child fall asleep. And while a couple of nights of going to sleep late is not a big problem, it doesn’t become a habit . Preserving the sleep routine that your child relies on throughout the school year can prevent them from losing sleep or becoming trapped in a pattern of constant adjustments that ultimately only destabilizes them.
- Set healthy and reasonable limits. Screens are attractive, and they certainly feel like a lifesaver during long flights or car trips, but the key to teaching moderation is practicing it. Any type of screen time can cause anxiety, “but especially time spent on social media, or watching horror shows or movies. And remember, what you may perceive as relatively good can still be annoying for some children. The same is true with video games . What might seem innocent and fun at the time can create great concerns for young children after they have played it. Set rules and limits and also create screen-free moments during the day .
- Spending time together as a family. Day trips and trips are fun , but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create lasting vacation memories with your kids. Most of the time, children tell me that they just want to spend time with their parents. They don’t really care about how that time is spent. Doing fun things together, whether it’s a hike, a trip, backyard picnics, or even cooking together on a regular basis, is more important to your children’s mental health than sports camps or extra holidays to advance into the next period. school…
- Trip plan. It may be easier for you to pack, but asking your child for help gives you some control. Children with anxiety prefer to take items of comfort and emotional security with them when they leave the house, so allow them to do so. It is also helpful to discuss the details of the trip , including the stops that will be made along the way and what to expect if you experience travel delays or other problems.
- Slow down. There is no need to overload them with additional activities and new experiences . Focusing on outdoor play and including downtime is essential for a good school vacation.