December 15, 2014 by middleearthnj
With all of the holiday hype, this season is not always easy! There is stress, extra family, teens home from school, demands on your time, financial burden, and unrealistic expectations. We want your family to have the best holidays possible, so we offer these recommendations:
Fight boredom. Time off from school with nothing to do increases the chance that your teen will be moody and/or engage in risky behaviors due to having too much free time on their hands. While your teen does need some downtime, make structured holiday plans, such as having your teen bake, wrap presents, invite friends over, participate in family outings, or complete paid chores to keep them busy.
Be positive. With so much time together, it’s easy to notice all of your teen’s problems and shortcomings. Instead, make a conscious effort to look for desirable behavior and then praise your teen. When you choose to look for the positive, everything feels a little bit brighter and it sets a positive tone that your children can feel and will follow.
Get their input. Don’t assume you know how your teen wants to spend the holidays. Ask for their ideas about how to spend time together and what is important to them. You might want to read our previous blog about Making Positive Holiday Compromises with Your Teen.
Avoid stress. Establish some realistic expectations for the holiday, and don’t impose stress on the family. Consider simplifying your shopping list, holiday rituals, or decorations. Avoid overspending your money or overcommitting your time.
Read previous tips. Over the years that we have written this blog, we have offered some tips for making the most of the holidays: