“Aren’t the holidays supposed to be fun?”
“Why is this so stressful?”
Sound familiar? It doesn’t need to be that way.
While I know holidays are stressful I walk into each year with hope that fun will abound and you can too with these parenting tips on surviving the holidays with your family.
*Guest blog by Suz Roemer Feely, Mad2Glad Certified Parent Coach*
Decorating the tree is something I particularly look forward to because the ornaments signify so many things in our lives: first year, first house, first dog, school projects, gifts from grandparents who have passed on and more.
This year, as we turned on the holiday music and began placing ornaments on the tree a major argument broke out amongst my three children (ages 11, 10 and 7) about whose ornament should be closest to the top.
My husband and I were already on edge due to the stress of holiday prep and as I tried to stay calm, I found myself thinking, “next year we will just leave the kids out or maybe forget doing the tree altogether!”
To incorporate the positive parenting strategies we learned from the Mad2Glad Blueprint, and wanting to ENJOY the time we had together, we separated the kids for a few minutes for everyone to calm down, including ourselves. (Pillar #1).
Once calm, they were able to return to the tree and we found a way to put all 3 close to the top without fighting. The holiday experience turned into the fun walk down memory lane all parents hope for.
As you encounter these events, consider these Mad2Glad Holiday Survival Tips:
- Understand your own stress level. It is a busy time and many of us are working hard to please everyone. Take some time for yourself, even if it’s 5 minutes, to relax, meditate or engage in something that you enjoy. Take a break when you need one to reset or calm down. (Mad2Glad Pillar #1)
- Let go of things that aren’t necessary. Consider using paper napkins versus ironed cloth napkins, allow guests to bring food, only put up half the holiday decorations, or consider purchasing some pre-made food.
- Consider what might aggravate your child and try to minimize that. Holidays are very stimulating with lots of people, blinking lights, loud noises, more sugar then usual, less sleep, and excitement over gifts. These conditions can easily trigger a tantrum from an intense child. For example, if your child gets overstimulated being around crowds, talk beforehand about ways to excuse themselves from the party when they start to feel stressed. Practice it with them. If your child is highly intuitive spend extra time together to help them feel safe and connected to you. (Mad2Glad Pillar #3)
Make sure to acknowledge when children are engaging in positive behavior and reward them!
- Engage your relatives in helping you keep the calm. Many of us experience judgment from our families when our children throw a tantrum. Ask relatives to help and explain in advance how you want them to deal with the situation. (Mad2Glad Pillar #8)
Explain that your child is not trying to be disobedient; rather they react emotionally due to the fact their brain operates differently. Describe the benefits you see when using non-traditional, more effective parenting strategies.
If your relatives don’t understand or cannot get on board with your approach, realize that it is their issue and not yours. You are doing what is best for your family so go back to Holiday Survival Tip #2…Let Go.
- Find a friend whose children are grown who will offer a positive viewpoint. Ask someone you trust to remind you how lucky you are to have young children close-by and how much you will miss the chaos (someday). A different perspective can be a wonderful gift.
These are just a few holiday tips pulled from the Mad2Glad Blueprint — to Experience Peaceful, Joyful Parenting in 2019 sign up today and receive 3 BONUS support calls and Mad2Glad’s Holiday Gift-a-Friend option.
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This guest article comes from Certified Mad2Glad Parent Coach, Suz Roemer Feely, who is a mother of 3 children: 2 gifted sons, ages 10 and 11, and a dynamic daughter, age 7. Suz and her husband work hard to create calm in their family and have found more calm AND deeper, more robust relationships with their children over the past few years. They enjoy summers at the cabin with extended family, Spring Break road trips, reading together and lots of sports activities.