Wow! December is already here and so is the stress. The days always seem to move so quickly through this month. This could be because the calendar is crowded with school events to attend, social activities with friends and business associates, family obligations, and dates for travel.

Yes, stress during the holidays is inevitable. As parents, we need to remember adult stress affects our children, too. One of the things parents can do to help themselves is talk about upcoming events with their children. When possible, give your children choices about what they prefer to do on specific holiday events. Sometimes just talking about things instead of just holding everything in is a great stress reliever.

After all, this is the season to enjoy and embrace holiday festivities and your family traditions. Speaking of family traditions, parents need to make sure they explain to their children the meaning of the word tradition. What was the origin for your family’s holiday tradition? If you do not have one, start one this year and involve your children.

Children love listening to their parents and other favorite adults explain things. Most of the time, children hear adults telling them what to do or to stop doing something. So when children hear an adult with a soothing voice engaging, not threatening them, they are all ears.

Indeed, this is an eager time for children to learn about the uniqueness of each holiday. As they grow older, they need to broaden their understanding and contribution. Whether it is the seasonal food, the decorations, the religious observations, the music, which fills the air, or the gifts we share, the holiday season is a special time.

Breaking News! Parents are not perfect. That’s right. Especially during stressful times, we make mistakes, so remember, things do not matter, people do and the people, who matter the most, are the ones you love and the ones who love you.

So, as you count down 2019, slow your pace and take a few deep breaths. Reduce your stress this holiday season by rejoicing in the time you have with family and friends. Smile often and enjoy every day!

Carl Persis

Chair, Volusia County School Board