Christmas with children, advice from the pediatrician on gifts, nutrition, flu and even the most uncomfortable questions about Santa Claus
Santa Claus and gifts, the advice of the pediatrician
After years of writing letters and leaving milk and cookies (but also some carrots for the reindeer) near the fireplace or the Christmas tree, parents find themselves managing ‘burning’ questions. Fueled by word of mouth and Google search results.
The first doubts about the existence of Santa Claus come around 8-9 years. Well, parents must never tell lies. As long as children believe in it completely and blindly, adults will have to cultivate it. At the first doubts, however, parents will have to support the existence of Santa Claus, even in a convinced way, but without insisting too much
advises the pediatrician Italo Farnetani, lecturer at the Free Ludes University of Malta, which gives AdnKronos Salute advice for one Perfect Christmas for children.
“So, when after a few months the children are convinced that Santa Claus does not actually exist – he explains – the parents will not have invested too much of their credibility on a topic that is destined to be a failure, but at the same time they will not have contributed to breaking down too much. quickly a fable that even the great, if they could, would like to believe.
Parents must also present Christmas “as it is interpreted by the majority of people, that is, as a religious holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ, and not as a secular holiday (for example for the beginning of winter or the feast of the solstice). ). The choice is not confessional or ideological – explains Farnetani – but is based on solid psychological motivations: children need to identify and assimilate themselves to the group of their peers, that is to the behavior of their companions “
“Considering that the majority of the population believes that Christmas is a religious holiday that is recreated through the crib – he observes – it is inappropriate for parents to put themselves in the minority and exclude themselves from collective behavior. Precisely because children tend to behave like their peers. , the little ones will ask themselves the question of why almost everyone, unlike their family, thinks that Christmas is a religious holiday. At this point there are two possibilities, one worse than the other: or the children will believe that the parents have said a lie, or, if they assimilate to their parents, they will feel different “.
As for the gifts, “the trendy ones should be chosen – recommends the pediatrician – because they are a guarantee of satisfaction and success. In fact, the companies choose the products based on research on the tastes and preferences of children. In addition, it is always necessary to consider that children and adolescents they want to feel the same as their peers, which is why they tend to follow trends and also have all the same tastes. In the case of adolescents, then, it is better to avoid surprises, but always ask for what they want “.
An idea is also to give the DVD of the film ‘The legend of the pianist on the ocean’ and the book from which it is based, ‘Novecento’ by Alessandro Baricco.
“If the teenager sees the film – explains Farnetani – he can be tempted to read the book, which is short and is very popular at this age”.
And the mobile phone? “It is an excellent gift idea – says the pediatrician, a little against the tide on this issue – and can be used by children from the age of 3”.
As for games, “it is good to never choose them too expensive. Today children are more and more alone and therefore they need to be able to occupy their free time in an alternative way to watch television or tablets. It is useful that they have many available. games to choose from, and it is important that they allow you to challenge each other even in company, with other children or with adults. As a general indication, board games are appreciated by everyone, dolls are the favorite gift for girls, while cars and little trains are for boys “.
The power of the holidays
During the Christmas holidays, continues the doctor, the food has a fundamental importance.
Absurd therefore to want to change the style of diet or, even worse, try to ‘diet’ during the holidays. From December 24 to January 6, all types of food restrictions must be forgotten
suggests, to the delight of adults and children.
It will be important to bring regional recipes and dishes to the table because this is an opportunity for children to acquire the roots of their own places.
And i desserts? “Also in this case no worries, because what matters is the lifestyle that takes place during the year and it is not what you do in 15 days – assures Farnetani – Therefore freedom to eat sweets, but only in company: never leave the child alone to gorge, for example while watching television. With the recommendation never to forget to brush your teeth after meals “.
What about sleep? “During the Christmas holidays it is almost always impossible to send the children to bed at the usual time, and it is even more difficult for the child to fall asleep easily, considering all the emotions, the news of the days. It is therefore important – advises the pediatrician – that parents in the evening never be too in a hurry to send their children to bed to prevent them from staying awake for too long. The advice is to send the children to bed only ‘when their eyes are closed’ “.
Alcohol absolutely prohibited until the age of 12 “and not to be granted even for toasts – warns Farnetani – After 12, parents can give alcohol for the toast, but only if their children request it and in any case never at meals . After the age of 15, if teenagers ask for it, they can occasionally drink a little wine during meals “.
As for the ‘barrels’ at the end of the year,
there are no safe fireworks. Children and possibly even teenagers should never use them alone, not even the most harmless ones. The fact that there are fireworks by law does not mean that they are not dangerous
Finally, the risk of influence: “To avoid infections as far as possible, it is …