Personally, my favorite part of the holidays is the food (diets don’t count in December right?) and re-living the traditions you have built-up over the years with family. For some, the favorite part it is buying gifts, while for others it may be receiving them. We all have our things to look forward to, but parenting your teenager or college aged kid throughout the holidays frequently does not make the list

The holidays are here and we are almost in the thick of it with just a small amount of preparation time left. Since making life a little easier is our job, YouTime Coaching is assigning you (yes you) two pieces of parental homework to help you and your family get through this December and into January feeling good, relaxed, and positive about the holiday dinner with crazy Aunt Sally (sorry if this hits too close to home).

Here we go.

Assignment #1: Keep Calm and Carry On.

Believe it or not, the holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. It is important that you take care of yourself, have strategies to maintain some level of equilibrium/relaxation, and model this positive behavior to your kid.

If you need a quick break from the chaos, try “4-7-8 breathing”. Many people use it to help them fall asleep, but in this case you will reap the benefits without dozing off. Here’s how it works:

  1. Breathe in for 4 seconds
  2. Hold it for 7 seconds
  3. Breathe out for 8 seconds

This entire cycle counts as one breathe. Continue for at least four cycles. If you do an emotional inventory over the past week you will quickly see that parents feel many emotions, some for varying lengths of time. The point is, emotions change and they can rather quickly. What you feel right now, may not be what you feel 5 minutes from now. Taking a step back, giving yourself space, and completing this breathing assignment will help you see a little more clearly.

Share you experience in the comment section.

Assignment #2: Actively Search for the Positive.

Many parents have their morning routines which can involve turning on the tv, looking at news on their phones, or reading the newspaper. Doing this can condition us to have a false reading on the ratio of positive to negative events that happen in life, simply because of what the media puts out there for us to see.

This holiday, keep an eye on your kid and no matter how small it may be, maintain a mental list of the positive behaviors they have displayed. It could range from helping with the dishes, going to pick something up from the store for you, or simply asking “how are you?”. When you see a positive behavior, give some positive feedback (ex. “How are you Mom/Dad?”, “I’m doing well, just a lot of work to do. That was really thoughtful of you to ask.”).

Searching for the positives at home and with your kids will help restore the more realistic ratio of positives to negatives, making life a little easier.

Share your list of positives in the comment section.

There you go!

This holiday season try using the stress of the holidays instead of allowing the holiday stress to use you. HINT: You can start with these two assignments.

Happy holidays from YouTime Coaching!

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