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We asked some We Are Family members and volunteers to share their thoughts, insights and tips about managing this time of year, and helping the whole family to have a ‘good’ Christmas. Whilst we know all children and families are different, we hope that you might find some food for thought, support, a different perspective, or space to reflect on these ideas.
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We haven’t heard much of the birth family lately. Although our Christmas was difficult (thank God it’s over), it felt pretty ‘normal’, unlike previous years where the ghosts of Christmases past have definitely been stalking our rooms, clanking their chains and scaring the bejeezus out of us.
Children generally seem to like knowing what’s going to happen and what they’re going to be doing next. It’s reassuring knowledge that takes away some of their uncertainty and helps quieten their anxieties.
But for our children, it can be much more than that. The changes and lack of structure in their early lives can give them a dread of the unknown. The anxiety can be overpowering; the need to know can be desperate.
My one special present under the Christmas tree would be a mini, pocket sized version of our family therapist. I could then pull her out to consult at those moments when I’m a bit lost as to how to respond to our daughter’s more dysregulated moments, or am just in need a bit of a confidence boost.