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Suggestions for a Happy Holiday

Question:  "My Kids' behaviours seem to get more unmanageable over the holidays.  What can I do to help them stay calm so that we can enjoy the holidays?"

Answer: "Many people find that over the holidays their children's behaviour can become increasingly unmanageable. Often times, this is because holidays equate to chaos and children are completely out of their regular routine.  Staying connected and mindful of your children's moods can help to reduce the potential for challenging behaviours...[For example, keeping irregular hours like staying up past their bedtime can take a toll on your children and cause challenges for the whole family].  Keep in mind, when children are out of their regular routine they are more likely to struggle both emotionally and behaviourally."  Dr. Arbus and Dr. Weidenfelder, child psychologists. 

Also, we suggest that when you notice your children are overstimulated, remind them of the strategies they are learning to keep calm at school....i.e. deep breathing, counting to ten or walking away to take a break are all good techniques. 

During the holidays we recommend that you keep children entertained through educational means as well. Activities that stimulate their curiosity and problem solving skills would keep them sharp during the break and ready for school when you come back. Limit their TV time. 

Visit the public library, museums, science centre and art galleries to stimulate their interest, the community centre, swimming pool and skating rink to keep them fit. If you go away, have them keep a journal of their trip with pictures as reminders...what a great souvenir that would make for them to share with their friends in the New Year. And off course...remember to keep them reading anything that interest them every day.   

For some ideas of available activities and events in the area do an Internet search or check out:

Vaughan Public Library http://www.vaughanpl.info/programs
Vaughan Community Centre Holiday Central Activity Schedules: http://www.vaughan.ca/services/recreation/Pages/Holiday%20Central%20Hours%20and%20Activity%20Schedules.aspx 
Ontario Science Centre:  www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca

Wishing you a great upcoming holiday season with lots of precious happy moments to share with your family and friends!  

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