CHILDLINE: Trained volunteer counsellors available – including on Christmas Day
Looking at social media it’s easy to believe that everyone around you is having the perfect Christmas, but children may be struggling with issues from feeling lonely, or experiencing their first Christmas without a loved one.
Christmas can be stressful for even the closest of families. There might be family arguments, or you might have to spend time with people you don't like. If parents are divorced or separated, that can cause friction too.
No matter what difficulties are happening at home, it's important children do things that will help them to cope. Sometimes simply making some time to listen to music they enjoy or messaging their friends can help. If things ever get too much and they don’t feel they can come to you, they can always speak to Childline.
If they’d prefer not to speak to one of our counsellors on the phone, there are games and resources on the Childline website which are designed to help improve their mood, and moderated message boards where they can speak to other young people about what’s bothering them.
Young people might also miss someone they’ve lost, or who can't be with them at Christmas for some other reason. Try encouraging them to talk about how they're feeling, and make sure they have time to remember the person and make new memories to help make things easier.
Lots of children feel lonely at Christmas and it’s important they don't keep it to themselves. Encourage them to talk to a trusted adult, friend or Childline – either a counsellor or someone their own age on our website’s moderated message boards.
And lastly, remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas, despite shops and adverts focusing on the festive period. Even if your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, you can still enjoy this time of year as a holiday, with some time to relax.
Whatever worries your child might have, our trained volunteer counsellors are available at Childline 24 hours a day – including Christmas Day.