How to Give Support During the Holidays

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During the holiday season, we often assume that children are excited and love Christmas. Though this is often true, some foster and adopted children grieve past holiday memories with their biological families become closed off or angry  Foster and adopted children may have strong emotional ties to past memories of Christmas as well as confusion about what to expect this year.

Once school is out, a change in routine and schedule can also add extra stress on children. Emotions may be driven by fear and anxiety, presenting hyperactive behavior, mood swings, frequent melt-downs, clinginess or oppositional behavior. When this happens foster and adoptive families need their support team to spring into action. Plus, you get to help create new holiday memories!

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Here are some ideas for providing support during this potentially stressful season:

  1. Christmas crafts. Activities that allow you to work alongside a child to build connection are invaluable! Make Christmas decorations with the children or build snowmen with younger children or forts with youth.
  1. Take the kids to community or church events. Although there are many parties and festivities, keep in mind that kids can become overstimulated by too much going on around them. Check with parents to find out if the child is triggered by sights, sounds, or too much sugar!
  1. Help tackle the Christmas shopping. If you’re wanting to bless the family, it’s always best to find out what the family actually needs. Giving memberships to the zoo or museum can be a helpful way to provide a year's worth of activity for the family.
  1. Wrap presents for the family and offer to store them at your home so the kids won’t be enticed by presents under the tree.
  1. Babysit for an evening so the parents can go out to a work Christmas party or date night present shopping.
  1. Host an evening of caroling and be sure to include songs that everyone, including the children, will know.
  1. Provide a kid-friendly Nativity set and share the Christmas story.
  1. Bring a meal! Whether it’s a hot meal or a care package of simple meals, it’s always helpful to have one less thing to manage in the evening!!

May the Lord’s grace and peace fill your hearts and homes this holiday season.

Tags: Support

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