Speaking Point: The holidays are finally over! The extended family has long gone home, the wrapping paper is all cleaned up and the the new toys have found their home somewhere in your kids room. You can sit back, look back on all the great celebration with good feeling and a job well done. Everyone is happy, right? Well... not exactly! The kids have that nasty tone in their voice. They are picking at one another and simply feeling depressed and angry. Parents need to be aware of the emotional "letdown" phenomenon that kids can experience called Postpartum Holiday Depression.
Speaking Point: After weeks of being over-stimulated by all the anticipation, all the sights, sounds, and materialism anyone could stand, it is suddenly over and the boring neutrality of real life hits a kid right between the eyes. The holiday and vacation is over and kids can plummet off their anticipation and excitement and right into a crabby, moody funk.
Speaking Point: Parents need to understand why their kids seem to be more antagonistic and uncooperative and help them through this tough time. Parents need to guide their children back into rituals that reflect the identity of the family culture that they live in all year.
Speaking Point: To make this transition, it is often helpful to have family meetings throughout the holiday season and certainly afterward to talk about the feelings of the season and the feelings of when the holiday season is over. Kids need to voice their feelings while they are going on and feel such great worth when parents welcome them to share.
Speaking Point: Coach your children to talk about their feelings as they are going through their letdown, letting them know that its normal to feel moody after such a stimulating time.
Speaking Point: Also model for them the delivery of respect regardless of their moodiness, and the need to re-engage in the responsibilities and roles they take on in their life. The more they can embrace their own experience the better they will feel and be able to enjoy the memories of the season that has just passed them by.
Speaking Point: Postpartum Holiday Depression may come around every year. Parents need to be patient, ready and embrace this difficult transition without judging their child for these feelings.
Speaking Point: Soon, the rituals of life will be embraced again, the roles and responsibilities for each child will provide purpose and meaning and the memory of the Holiday season will blend with daily life. The mood for children will "even out" and their willingness to take on their day will show up again. Of course until your child's next birthday.