The excitement of costumes, family gatherings and holiday functions excite many of our youngest family members, but some of our kids and teens start to feel the burden of the season and hide their stress and anxiety. They may express it in ways that do not outwardly seem like stress such as withdrawing, excessive complaining or worrying, eating too much or too little, or clinging.
Remaining mindful of your child’s stress levels and how they express them are pivotal. This time of year, there is a rise in anxiety levels amongst sensitive and empathic kids and teens that seem to take on a lot of their parents’ stress. Kiddos innately want to be helpful and seeing their adult counterparts run around during the holiday season is gradually creating an imprint in their minds of how they should behave this time of year. They are recording everything they see and feel at the subconscious level. How can we best guide our kids and teens this time of year? The trick is not to focus solely on their mental and emotional health, but to remain grounded and centered on OUR own Christ presence.
It’s important for us to be mindful of spiritual practices this time of year. What are we doing to refrain from getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season so that we can confront every interaction with our children with the upmost presence? It’s pivotal to remain steadfast in our own spiritual journeys and to involve our children in it when we can. Taking three deep breaths during a car drive, watching a short YouTube meditation afterschool, or sharing highs and lows before bedtime are some examples of how we can model for our children healthy spiritual practices while incorporating them into our own day. Feeling upsets and stress will occur. However, seeing ourselves as observers to these emotions as opposed to identifying with them is key. There are many types of fish in the pond. Don’t be the fish. Be the pond.
What’s Happening with CCU Kids and Teens?
• Halloween costumes are highly encouraged on Sunday, October 31st! No kids, no problem! Help us provide a trunk-load of fun for our kids and teens by decorating your trunk and passing out treats in the church parking lot. After service, kids and teens will walk from trunk to trunk collecting goodies. Prizes will be awarded to the 3 most creative trunks, so we’re looking forward to seeing some fun themes!
• Club U is our kids and teens club that meets every Sunday at 10:30am EST. Check-in is digital and contactless. Simply download the Church Center App and scan your phone to check your kids in! Parents receive a security label for a safe and secure pick-up. Nursery is open to kids not yet enrolled in preschool. Our school-aged kids and teens meet for Fellowship in Hightower Hall to sing songs, learn meditation and breathing exercises, share prayers and more! Then we move into age-specific family groups for developmentally appropriate activities. Masks are required. Can’t join us in person? Join us online! Visit the For Kids! page on the CCU Orlando website for the link to Club U. We’ll share the materials needed for each activity and your child can still be a part of the action!
• We’re in the second week of our 3-week series titled Remember Me: Spiritual Lessons from Disney Pixar’s Coco! We’re diving into the lessons Miguel and his family learned in the movie and exploring the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead.
• The Southeast Region is hosting Y.O.U. Fall Rally for teens in grades 9-12. The theme is Door of Truth and this event takes place in Savannah, GA. Nov. 12-14 marks the first in-person rally in over a year and our high schoolers are gearing up for a weekend of discovering their spiritual truths. Meals and lodging are included in the registration. Registrations are due by Oct. 22nd, so please contact the Kids and Teens office at CCU for more information on getting your teen registered.
• Join us in December for a closer look at the movie Polar Express! Our winter series is titled All Aboard and includes a CCU’s second Movie On The Lawn event. Kids ages 1-99 are welcome to come to CCU in their pjs and bunny slippers on Saturday, December 11th for popcorn, hot chocolate and plenty of fellowship as we watch the Polar Express outdoors on our large inflatable movie screen.
• Our highly anticipated holiday presentation is almost here! CCU Kids and Teens will present their version of the holiday season in a heart-warming and comical skit on Sunday, December 19th during Sunday service.