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 Depression  Holistic-online.com

Help Your Children Cope With the Winter Blues

(FeatureSource) - The holidays are a whirlwind of fun and activity for children. The lights, mysterious packages, parties, new toys - it’s certainly the most wonderful time of year. But starting in January, children often feel let-down as life returns to a routine of school, homework, ordinary family life, and the winter blahs. The following suggestions from Silvana Clark, author of “Parent-Tested Ways to Grow Your Child’s Confidence” (Meadowbrook Press), are ways to help your child cope with the winter blues.

-Spend a few minutes discussing her feelings. Saying something like, “Wow! Wasn’t it fun to have all your cousins over last week? You sure seemed to enjoy ice-skating with the Girl Scouts too. What’s it feel like now that all the activities are over?” Sometimes simply letting your child verbalize her feelings, and helps put things in perspective.

-Plan a few low-cost special activities. Suggest the family have a game night every Tuesday or eat dinner by candlelight. One mother used leftover holiday candles at the breakfast table. Since it was still dark when her children ate breakfast, the candles created a warm cozy feeling to start the day.

-Encourage children to think about others. Food banks and homeless shelters experience a dramatic drop off in donations after the holidays. Look for ways that children can help by donating toys, serving meals or visiting with residents of a nursing home. Thinking of others is the best way to build your child’s confidence by putting the emphasis on other people.

-Spend “floor time” with your child. This simply means you sit on the floor and let your child direct the activity. For parents it is difficult not to say, “Let’s use the blocks to build a garage.” Instead, keep quiet and simply respond to your child. Braid doll hair, race cars under the table or color in a traditional coloring book. The point is to give your child undivided attention doing what they want.

-Increase your child’s physical activity. In most parts of the country, we have a tendency to stay inside during cold winter weather. Put those snow clothes to good use and get outside. Take brisk walks around the neighborhood. Hide shelled peanuts in the backyard and let your children have a peanut hunt. Experience the exhilaration of riding bikes on a gloomy winter day. Go to a local park and feed the ducks, even if it is raining. That’s what umbrellas are for, isn’t it? The additional physical activity lessens the amount of time watching TV. The entire family benefits from old-fashioned fresh air and exercise.

Courtesy of FeatureSource

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