Managing Children’s Behavior During the Holiday Season

5 tips to keep the peace

Posted Dec 21, 2015

This time of year, many families are preparing for a holiday vacation and their children being out of school for several days. Holiday vacations often bring about challenges managing behavior (even for the most well behaved child). Below are some suggested tips for managing behavior issues from the

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1. Give Your Kids a Voice and a Holiday Responsibility

Listen to your children’s suggestions about holiday activities they would like the family to do together. Make sure kids are a part of the season’s activities to increase the likelihood that they will want to participate in the family events.

2. Encourage and Model for Your Children How to Enjoy the Holidays

Be more than a taxi-driver or an events director for your family’s Christmas festivities. When parents take the time to enjoy the holiday season, they model to their children the importance of togetherness while encouraging kids to take a part in the new family activity versus being spectators.

3. Praise Is a Powerful Present!

Make a point of praising family members for their ability to cooperate and to participate in holiday activities. It will not be easy to get everyone on the same page, so when it happens, rejoice and praise it!

4. Don’t Try to Be a Holiday Super-Parent

Let kids know that there are certain responsibilities and traditions in the Christmas schedule that everyone is expected to participate in and take responsibility for, such as going to religious services, taking part in community service activities or helping with prep and cleanup after family meals and events.

5. Relax and Regroup Exhaustion

As stress can put a damper on the holiday season. Take some time each day to have the family relax a little and de-stress — especially after energy-zapping holiday activities.

About the Author

Erlanger Turner, Ph.D. – often referred to by his clients as Dr. Earl – is a Clinical Psychologist in Houston, Texas. He is also an Assistant Professor of Psychology and teaches courses on clinical psychology and multicultural issues. Dr. Turner specializes in child and adolescent disorders, parenting, and psychological assessment. His research interests focus on psychotherapy use, mental health equity, and access to behavioral health services for youth. He has published articles in scholarly journals and in national media sources such as New York Times, and Washington’s Top News.

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