Experts warn parents to be mindful as Christmas can cause kids stress and anxiety

Christmas is such a special time for our families.

We love to share the magic of the festive season with our little ones and get them excited about the holidays.

However, experts have issued a warning to parents to be mindful about the impact of overstimulation and lack of sleep at this time of year.

Children can experience stress, anxiety, sadness and pressure during the Christmas break and those all-important bedtime routines can be forgotten.

The CEO of St Patrick's Mental Health Services, Paul Gilligan explained that whilst the guidelines aren't to take away from the festivities, it is a reminder that parents should be aware of the impact it can create.

"Now nobody wants to spoil Christmas by putting a dampener on what is a very enjoyable, really important occasion for children," he said.

"It's really managing expectations...It's helping young people to manage their own expectation. It's being mindful of the fact that heightened emotions can create stress and anxiety and depression for children," he added.

Child counselling service, Childline reported that they received over 1,200 calls, texts and online contacts on Christmas Day this year.

That breaks down to nearly one call a minute, but the service isn't just available for the Christmas period.

Emma McCluskey, the National Childline Manager said that their services are always an option for young people 365 days a year.

"The magic of Christmas doesn't reach every home...That's something that we are really aware of," she said.

"It's really important that every young person knows that there is someone that they can turn to, somebody that they can talk to - whether it be a trusted family member or an adult they have in their life," she added.

"But Childline is another option for young people. We are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."



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