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For Holidays, Presence Can Make The Best Presents

Idaho Children's Trust Fund has tips for enjoying the holidays as a family. Credit: reim11/morguefile
Idaho Children's Trust Fund has tips for enjoying the holidays as a family. Credit: reim11/morguefile
December 7, 2015

BOISE, Idaho - During the holidays, parents can get caught up in the whirlwind of shopping and parties, and sometimes forget that the best present you can give is actually being present.

That's the message this season from the Idaho Children's Trust Fund. Taryn Yates, grant manager/planner with the Trust Fund says studies show simply stepping out of the rush and spending time playing with your kids on a regular basis has a huge impact.

"This carries on throughout their entire lives," says Yates. "They do better in school. They have more confidence. They walk around the world with less fear, less anxiety. You can actually see the positive results in adulthood."

With toddlers, Yates says parents should watch out to see if they get overstimulated by all the excitement at parties, and try to name their feelings and empathize if they get overwhelmed.

Another tip? Yates says even pre-verbal infants and toddlers benefit when you keep up a running commentary on the holiday activities.

"When you're decorating your tree with your child, involve them in the conversation," says Yates. "Say, 'Oh, look, this ornament is a snowman. Snowmen are made out of snow, which is frozen water.' So, I don't think it would naturally occur to parents to be chattering on to kids, but it's actually incredibly useful to them and it helps build their brains."

You can get all kinds of information on parenting at Idahochildrenstrustfund.org.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - ID