Preventing and Managing Challenging Child Behavior Over the Holidays
Although we strive to make the holidays a special time, the fact is that all of the traveling, hosting, and holiday preparations increase parenting stress and disruptions to your family’s routine that can ultimately lead to more challenging child behavior. And nothing dampens holiday joy like tantrums, arguments, and a bad case of the “I want’s”. Here are a few tips to help you keep the Happy in “Happy Holidays” and get through them with minimal(ish) challenging child behavior. To help you keep these tips in mind, I listed them using the word HOLIDAYS. Crafty, huh?
H is for Happiness: They are supposed to be Happy Holidays, so find ways to share some happy moments with your child. One of the most important things you can do to prevent an increase in negative, attention-seeking child behavior is to carve out small bits of "special time" with your child. This is a 5-minute period dedicated to enjoying a fun activity with your child while giving them lots of positive attention. You can find fun ways to engage them in the holiday preparations with you (e.g., baking) and use lots of labeled praise to tell them exactly what you appreciate about their behavior. Altogether, these strategies will help you keep the happy in the holidays with your kids.