Psychologist: Modeling joy through disappointment to your children is a critical must

Despite Covid 19 Restrictions, Families Encouraged To Approach Holidays With Joy.

MADISON, Wis. — Holiday traditions are among the most looked forward to family events, but like most things in 2020, this year’s plans are likely to look different. Though feeling disappointment is normal, SSM Health Child Psychologist Dr. Kathleen Hipke says it’s important to feel joy in the difficult times, and that modeling that joy to children is a critical must.

“If we approach this with all gloom and doom, then we’ve really missed an opportunity to set the tone, as well, to say what can we do? Not just focus on what we can’t do, but what can we do? And bring kids into that conversation, because quite frankly, when I feel my creativity is depleted, I look to the kids,” said Hipke.

By approaching the holiday challenges of covid-19 in a positive light, families can model the importance of flexibility, which Dr. Hipke says is an important life skill. She also encourages those who are struggling on hard days to be gentle with themselves. Tough days will always come, but they can be used as a chance to rest, regroup, and refocus with a fresh perspective. Hipke says that when overwhelmed, remember the moment will pass.