Prepare for the Holidays

Granted, we’ve just gotten our kids back to school, but the holidays are sneaking up on us. And life with Acting Out Kids, no matter the age, gets even more complicated during those family events. Now is the time to start laying a plan.
Think about the holidays your family might normally celebrate.
*New Year
*Add Your Own
It is well known that when our children are young, the change in schedule that holidays bring causes our children to test their boundaries. It is as though they have forgotten all the rules or just decide to challenge them.
As our kids grow older, expectations shift – but the Acting Out Kid gets harder to live with, rather than maturing into the family dynamic. Time to decide on your boundaries and make a plan.
-What are your typical problems? What has happened with your challenging child in the past that makes you dread this holiday?
-Why do you celebrate? Is this holiday one you love? Can you avoid it? Can you celebrate it with others? (At other’s home, school, church, the mall?)
- What is your budget? Set one and stick to it! Start the adult habit of giving modest tokens of your affection. Encourage your kids to do the same. Resolve to spend X amount on food/gift/travel.
- What is the ‘feeling’ you are going for? Remember, we are unlikely to get ‘warm and fuzzy’ from our disgruntled kids.
One Mom suggested her out of control son (no longer living at home) meet the family at church on Christmas, and then they would exchange gifts while enjoying a meal at a local restaurant. We celebrated Thanksgiving at church since many in our group had Acting Out Kids. We had a lovely time, without the stress and drama that we would have had at home. You could also try the Lura’s Holiday Captain Method. Let each family member decide which holiday they love the most. That person then chairs the committee for making that holiday ‘happen’ (parents still control the budget and boundaries). The disgruntled, perfectionistic kid may become much less so when he/she is in charge.
So, get your gray cells working on the holidays. And get yourself to your local StandUp Parenting support group where you can get more ideas and help to make your plan happen.

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