Even if your child was extremely pleased and grateful for all the gifts and toys they received over the holidays, there are some children who experience a bit of a letdown when everything is over. It often feels similar to emptiness – like “now what?” Weeks, and in some cases, even months, of anticipation are over and done with – just like that.
This is a feeling that can manifest as depression, anxiety or sadness that can linger long after the holidays are over. Children, particularly younger children, may not realize why they feel this way.
The good news is, there are a few strategies you can use to help your children overcome this feeling of the post-holiday letdown. Keep reading to find out some helpful tips.
Donate and Appreciate
Giving can be just as fun as receiving. With your child, put together a meal for a family in need, buy a new toy and drop it in a donation box, or participate in a community event that raise money for children in need in your community. It's a fun and repeatable activity for the family, with an added bonus of fostering an appreciation for the gifts we give and receive.
Write Thank You Notes
If your child received gifts from people who don’t live in the house with them, such as their aunts and uncles, grandparents or neighbors, then help them write thank you notes to each person who gave a gift. If they are too young to write on their own, then have them color a picture, or even just “draw” something.
By doing this, you can help to shift the sadness that everything is over to a feeling of thankfulness for having all these people in their lives who love them enough to give them a present. Make sure to take your child to the post office with you, let them pick out the stamps, and then mail the letters together.
Help them Remember all the Possibilities
While the pretty holiday decorations are put away, and all the presents are unwrapped, there are still many things to look forward to. With a new year, there’s unlimited possibilities available. The feeling that “it’s all over” after the holiday season is real, and in some cases, thinking about the future can help to fill this empty feeling.
If your child seems to be sad or unhappy about the end of the holidays, then it’s a good idea to implement the tips here. However, if your child is constantly stuck in a negative state of mind or lacks motivation to complete daily tasks, it may be time to consider outside help. Learn more about how we help struggling kids get back on track.