Creating Courteous Kids: Thriving in the Holidays Mini Series

Seeing the holidays as another opportunity to teach is important.

We as parents have a couple of things we can do to teach – natural consequences, direct instruction, and modeling seem to be the ones that come to mind first. All require us to pay attention to circumstances and look for teachable moments. I believe the holiday season is unique time. This special season provides many significant teachable moments that might be harder to come by during other times of the year.

Keys to creating courteous kids through the Holidays:
1. Have the end result in mind now.

2. Maintain behavioral expectations.
3. Be intentional.
4. Don’t use the Holiday season as an excuse or “get out of jail” pass.
5. Communicate. (With your children and with others.)

6. Seize the moments, don’t be afraid to teach (no matter who is or is not watching).

7. Model your desired behaviors.

8. Follow through on consequences and allow for natural consequences.

Of course these are easier said then done, but can serve as a good reminder to us.
I think a couple of these tips can go hand in hand – like how having the end result in mind now can help with communicating, being intentional, and modeling desired behaviors. A great tip I highly suggest is to write down what you want in your kids. (And practice these things yourself). When you see the end result in your mind you can be more intentional, it helps you maintain expectations, and it is easier to communicate with others and your kids about what you expect. It can also help you model your behaviors, seize moments, and follow through (or allow natural consequences).

If I have learned one thing about parenting so far, I’ve learned a million. But one thing I can say is that when I see something in my little one I don’t like or want to correct I really need to look at myself. Especially now as he is so young. He is mimicking and imitating me – us.

Hope these tips help, inspire, and please know I too am trying these and learning in the process. I’d love to hear what works for you when it comes to creating courteous kids in the holidays.  

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