Children, especially under age 6, depend a great deal on routines for a sense of comfort. Of course, routines sometimes change. Learning to cope with changes is an important achievement that emerges over time. Parents can help children with this developmental task when they talk about the disruptions, including having preparatory discussions when they anticipate them, and reflective discussions when they don’t occur as anticipated.
Parents can ease anxiety around disruptions in routines by maintaining as much age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate structure as possible, while providing additional support around the parts of the routine that are different.
In addition to the anticipation of giving and receiving gifts, there are a number of disruptions to the usual routine that occur for many families this time of year.
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