Childcare worker’s viral Christmas post urges parents to ‘be kind’ to little ones during stressful season

A viral Facebook post is aiming to remind parents of the toll Christmas can take on their children — and to inform them of the ways they can help the kids through it.

Esther Sowerby, a registered day-care provider in Wales, penned the post from a child’s point of view, explaining why youngsters might be facing more stress due to their changing bedtime schedules, their families’ travel plans, and even their sugar intake.

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“Be kind to me this Christmas,” Sowerby began her post.

“You’ve probably let me eat more sugar than usual — I’m bound to have higher highs and lower lows,” wrote Sowerby — or rather, the “little person” she was speaking on behalf of.

“In the holidays I’m out of routine — I can cope better with transitions when I know exactly what’s coming next so please explain our plans for the day clearly to me,” she added.

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Sowerby — or rather, the “little person” — went on to explain that children often stress out when they see their parents getting overwhelmed by the holidays. And kids often have no value of money, she says, so they may not understand why they can’t get the expensive Christmas gift they saw on TV.

“I have no idea about the value of money — if there’s no way I can have that giant Lego set for Christmas, then please tell me well before Christmas morning. I’ll have time to get over my disappointment and I’ll learn to trust your honesty.”

Sowerby concluded by recommending that parents not yell at their children when they “lose it,” but rather try to understand why the child may be acting up.

“I never set out to deliberately disappoint you and I didn’t try to ruin your Christmas. I’m really not that calculated. I’m just a little person whose brain deals with stress in different ways to yours,” she said.

“I never set out to deliberately disappoint you and I didn't try to ruin your Christmas. I'm really not that calculated. I'm just a little person whose brain deals with stress in different ways to yours," wrote Sowerby, on the behalf of small children.

“I never set out to deliberately disappoint you and I didn’t try to ruin your Christmas. I’m really not that calculated. I’m just a little person whose brain deals with stress in different ways to yours,” wrote Sowerby, on the behalf of small children.
(iStock)

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Sowerby’s post, which originally went up in late November, has since been shared over 52,000 times on Facebook and won a slew of supportive responses.

“So beautiful and so very true for our little ones,” wrote one commenter, who added that the message also applies “for the not-so-little ones.”

“What a wonderful reminder for all of us,” another said.

In a later post, Soweby remarked on the “crazy amount of responses” she received regarding her original Facebook message, but warned that perfect parenting is still nearly impossible – and clarified why that is OK.

“My post seeing Christmas through children’s eyes has had a crazy amount of responses! Mostly positive, but some people have felt sad and even guilty that it’s not possible to parent like that all the time,” she said. “Thing is no one can! And the good news is that it’s how you patch things up with a child that makes a difference.”

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Soweby also referred anyone seeking more information on connecting and re-connecting with your child to University of Dundee- and Yale-educated psychologist Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk.