The holidays have begun for many this weekend and what can we do to ensure it’s a happy time within the family?

Here are my 10 ten parenting tips:

  1. Decide to do what you need to do to be in a ‘good place’ to parent well and do it.This usually means being in touch with your needs and meeting them; whether it’s to carve out some ‘Time Out’ or to get better at Asking for Help or Doing Less so you don’t blow. It’s your responsibility to look after yourself and meet your own needs; so you can look after others.
  2. When all around are losing their heads – don’t you lose it too – if you are CALM.. it makes others Calmer too..take more care of you.. prioritise taking a rest rather than keep on cleaning the house.. which is like sweeping snow in a snowstorm anyway!
  3. Respect – Treat your child/teen like you would wish to be treated and they will mirror that Respect back to you.
  4. 8 Minutes a day is all your Child needs from you.. of 1 on 1 time, undiluted, undistracted, phone off the hook time, eight minutes of positive attention from you will transform your relationship
  5. Tantrums: Respond with Kindness, Firmness but not Crossness.. “When you calm down; I can talk to you” and hard as it is; simply allow them to express their feeling. However, stay separate to their behaviour (which  as is only about them and how they feel) and your role modelling of being in charge of your own behaviour will eventually be theirs.. as long as you are consistent. No one said it was easy though.. however if your reward a tantrum with your attention.. you will just get more, so hold your boundary, stay calm and sepArate and wait for them to get over it and they will learn to regulate their behaviour from observing how you regulate your behaviour when you are upset! We are role models and what we do; they do.
  6. Acknowledge the Feeling: This means when your child has a strong feeling, they need you to acknowledge how they feel and this gives them a sense of being understood, which calms the intensity of the feeling; “Sounds like /you seem upset/ you must be devastated/I’m guessing it did not go well” are all examples of trying to ‘name’ a child’s feeling and encourage expression.
  7. When they feel right- they behave right: So get in touch with the ‘why’ of the behaviour and they won’t need that challenging behaviour, so be Kind
  8. A child who is being difficult; is trying to show you how difficult life is for them so remember when they deserve your love the least, they probably need it the most. Compassion & Kindness is the No 1 response to difficult behaviour.
  9. Use Choices/Consequences: “If you choose to tidy before dinner; you;re choosing to have TV after; if you choose not to tidy; your choosing not to have TV after; you decide”. No fighting with this one; as it’s their choice. Just use on one thing your are working on; like getting a small chore done – most issues can be sorted out through being real “John, I don’t want to get angry with you; I feel upset when.. and I need..”
  10. Love :Make sure they know you love them, tell them and show them by spending time with them, connecting into their world and listening to them and noticing what they have done; now what they have not done!!