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“Naughty or Nice?” Reality Check for ID Parents

December 24, 2007

Boise, ID – Advice for harried Idaho parents this week: Time-outs are good options for grown-ups, too. That's just one way to keep holiday stress under control and maintain equilibrium in the swirl of shopping, parties and excited kids.

Early childhood experts blame a documented increase in child abuse reports this time of year on the pressures of the season and having students home from school for a week or two. Mary Marshall, a board member of the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, says it takes positive, proactive front-line planning to stop children from making their parents feel and act crazy.

"Keep them rested, healthy and busy, and they're going to do better during the holidays. And so are you."

Marshall advises making it easy on yourself. She says during this season of "good cheer," you can avoid a lot of stress if you don't try to create a picture-perfect holiday.

"It doesn't have to look like a picture out of "Sunset" magazine. Try not to feel overwhelmed, or feel like you're trying to measure up to a standard that is someone else's."

Ways children can be occupied and even productive, Marshall says, include helping in the kitchen, wrapping gifts, decorating the house, or simply reading.


Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ID