The holidays can be a busy and sometimes stressful time for families, especially for children and teens. There are often long days and lots of changes in routine which can lead to increased stress. However, at times, the changes in routine also leave parents and caregivers with an opportunity to spend more time and have conversations with their children.
The “Let’s Talk” conversation guide is a great resource for parents and caregivers to encourage and initiate conversations. The guide provides open-ended questions that can help parents start a conversation with their children about their feelings, thoughts, and experiences.
Here are some tips for how parents can use the “Let’s Talk” conversation guide in the holidays:
- Make any time and place an opportunity to talk. The holidays can be busy, so it’s important to know that you don’t have to find a specific time and place where you and your child can talk. Anytime is a great time to create an environment for open communication.
- Start by asking simple questions. The “Let’s Talk” conversation guide includes a variety of questions, so you can start with the ones that are most appropriate for your child’s age and level of understanding.
- Be patient and listen. It’s important to be patient and listen to what your child has to say. Don’t interrupt or judge, just listen.
- Offer support. If your child is feeling stressed or anxious, let them know that you’re there to support them. You can offer to help them find ways to cope with the stress, or just be there to listen.
The “Let’s Talk” conversation guide is a great way to help your children feel supported during the holidays or any other time of the year. It is an opportunity to have check-in conversations about how their year went and what they look forward to in the future.
Here are some additional tips for parents:
- Pay attention to what your children tell you. Be aware of the signs of stress in your children. These signs may include changes in behavior, such as increased irritability, difficulty sleeping, or changes in appetite.
- Encourage your children to participate in conversations with you, another parent or caregiver.
- Show love, support and empathy.
- If the conversation develops further, use a resource like our Intervention Language
By using the “Let’s Talk” conversation guide and following these tips, you can foster a supportive environment and navigate important topics in your child’s life. We encourage you to use this guide during the holidays and any other time of the year!