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Child Discipline, Family and Holidays



Spending the holidays with family promises such joy, yet often it turns out to be stressful. One common cause of the stress is how children behave at family holiday gatherings.


Understanding the cause of children's holiday behavior problems can help.  Holidays with family are typically anticipated with much excitement. As the time of the gathering draws near, parents often experience mounting holiday stress as they strain to have everything prepared. The build up of holiday stress and excitement reves up the children internally. At the same time, children see holidays as a time for freedom and cutting loose, which excites them further. Now here is the point: Children behave chaotically under the influence of high levels of intensity and stimulation, which is what family holidays with typically bring.


When children behave chaotically it is always difficult to deal with. And when you combine that the parent's holiday stress that is bound to rise as holidays and family converge, parents can easily feel overwhelmed and find themselves yelling at their children over the holidays.


Another factor comes into play that makes family holiday time difficult: the common tendency expect the ideal. No matter how many times it happens, parents expect their children to behave beautifully and for everything to work out great. When they don't live up to this expectation, the holiday stress felt by the parents is exacerbated.


To improve your experience of holidays with family, then, you might begin by adjusting your expectations. Family holiday time is not only more difficult for adults because of  the increased demands of preparation.  Holidays with family is also more difficult for children to handle than regular daily routine.  If you can accept that you can avoid increasing your holiday stress with unrealistic expectations.


Understanding the impact of emotional intensity on children, holidays should be approached calmly by the parents. Combining excitement with holidays can make family time unbearable.  For the best possible holiday behavior from yourself children, behave calmly yourself. As tempting as it is to get excited about the holidays, family sanity demands that you practice your own best self-control, both leading up to the holidays and during them, to keep your holiday stress as low as possible.


But of course, no matter how hard you work at mastering family holiday time, your children will behave imperfectly. They can feel excited all by themselves, and other family members may contribute to the children's holiday stress.


So part of adequate preparations for holidays with family should include you being prepared to handle chaotic children.  Behave toward your children as you want your children to behave, particularly when their behavior becomes chaotic.  Lashing out at them will send their emotions from too high to too low.  And just as children behave poorly when they feel too excited, they children also behave poorly when they feel upset.


Family holiday can be wonderful.  Parents and children can go on looking forward to holidays with family. Just remember to remain calm as the family holiday time approaches and while it takes place.  Remain calm to calm your children when display chaotic holiday behavior. Holidays with family can fulfill their joyful promise when you preserve your peace.



For peace at home over the holidays with family and EVERYDAY, you MUST listen to Bob Lancer's CD Peaceful Parenting, and for the parenting breakthrough you want, read his book, Parenting With Love, Without Anger or Stress.


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