December can be a time of stress and overwhelm – parties, school assemblies, awards nights and shopping.
Everyone gets tired and this can lead to frayed tempers and impatience.
About 6 weeks out from Christmas we can sometimes hear parents say, “if you aren’t good, you won’t get any Christmas presents”.
That’s tricky for the following reasons:
- Do you really mean it? Are you going to follow through and not give your child any Christmas presents? It’s probably an empty threat (and the kids know it).
- The consequence is not immediate enough.
- The consequence probably isn’t related to the mistaken behaviour.
- What does ‘good’ or ‘nice’ mean? It’s too vague.
All the above can lead to an escalation of mistaken behaviour, which can make everyone’s life more difficult.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time of kindness, peace and goodwill. You are allowed to take some time to breathe and enjoy. This includes giving your kids and yourself some downtime to reduce the overwhelm.
Deal with your children’s behaviour in a calm and assertive manner. Tell them what they are doing wrong (for example, “you are yelling at your sister”) and what to do instead (for example, “speak kindly and calmly”).
Deal with your child’s behaviour at the time that it occurs and give a consequence that is related to the mistaken behaviour (for example, take away the toy that the children are fighting over).
Give an instruction a maximum of two times. The more times you ask, the greater the risk that you will get frustrated.
If the child does not comply after two requests, you can issue a consequence (related to the behaviour of course).
Another year is over. It’s a cliché but it’s true – treasure the moments you have with your kids. They will be adults one day, and you will wonder where the time went. You owe it to yourself and your kids to make the time as positive as possible. Get the undesirable behaviour over and done with quickly so you have more fun and times of connection. In the end, that’s all that really matters.
Wishing you and your family a lovely holiday season.
Article Written + Submitted by
Narelle Smith (Director) Cranebrook Community Pre School