Moms and Dads aren’t the only one who can get the winter blues. Kid both big and small can be affected by the long winter days. Their symptoms may not be as easy to recognize as yours, but they are there. While some kids become melancholy other’s may become restless, hyperactive, they may be more sensitive or even begin to have more behavioral issues.
How To Help Your Children Through The Winter Blues
Stay Active – It an be tempting to hunker down and hibernate during the winter but getting outside and staying active when the weather is nice even for a few minutes can help alleviate the feeling of being cooped up for too long. It will help to wear off pent up energy, and the fresh air will help boost their immune system during the colder months. Just make sure they are properly dressed for the cold temperatures.
Stick To Routines – Kids thrive on routines. It makes them feel secure and in control when they know what to expect from the adults in their lives and the environment they live in. Even though the days are shorter, the season has changed and will again soon doesn’t mean that the day to day activities are changing with it. Older kids may be tempted to sleep in on darker winter mornings, encouraging them to use an alarm clock and keep their sleep cycles on track will help to keep their mood and energy levels where they should be.
Get Creative – The winter months are a great time to make art projects with the kids. It will keep them busy and happy while using their imaginations instead of being stuck in front of a screen all day. Getting artsy can be as simple as coloring in a coloring book, making bath crayons, or even stringing pasta on a piece of yarn. Older kids may enjoy rearranging their bedroom furniture, or perhaps even repainting their bedroom walls.
Eat A Colorful Diet – Making sure your family continue to eat a healthy diet during the winter will help support their immune system and help keep them from getting sick. Adding in lot of colorful fruits and veggies not only makes the plate more pleasing to look at it can brighten their mood as well. I always try to keep brightly colored oranges on hand at eye level for the boys not only as a way to brighten up the house but as a way to encourage a healthy snack. During the winter months when we are naturally producing less Vitamin D I give a gummy multi-vitamin to the boys as a way of helping to boost the things they may be lacking.
Make A Play Date – Play dates are important for so many reasons. They not only help your child build stronger relationships with their peers but they keep them active and engaged when they may otherwise be sucked into the TV or a game system. Take the opportunity to invite some of your child’ s friends over for a fun afternoon and perhaps someday soon they will be invited over to play as well.
Seasonal Depression – While the five suggestions I’ve mentioned above are a great way to fend of a light case of the winter blues in your children, if you are noticing something unusual in your child’s behavior it’s important to contact your pediatrician. Seasonal Affective Disorder while less common in children does occur and treatment is available for them.
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