Everywhere we turn we hear about how stressful the holidays can be. In addition, to the regular activates like taking the kids to school, tennis lessons and ballet practice, plus a trip to the orthodontist, we add all of the holiday activities.  No wonder so many are feeling the stress and may blow a fuse using an angry response, especially at their children and adolescents.

One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Jane Nelson the founder of Positive Discipline is ‘What makes us think that making a child feel bad will make them do better”. Blowing your fuse at your child is guaranteed not to make them feel better so what can you do instead? No matter the age of your children, they are always watching you and learning from you how to handle different situations. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to model how not to blow your fuse when you are under stress. By the way one of the other things Dr. Nelson says is “Parenting is not about perfection”. Therefore, not blowing your fuse most of the time is good enough.

Things you can try to keep from blowing your fuse:

  • Take a time out to get a different perspective on the situation. When you feel you are about to blow your fuse remove your self from the situation, even if it is just going to the next room.
  • When time outs are not possible stop what you are doing and take five very deep breaths. Deep breathing can help slow down your brain and help you get your emotions under control. This simple act might keep you from saying something you will regret later.
  • Practice self-care. Take time from your busy day to do something that brings your joy even for five minutes.
  • Practice mindfulness sometime during the day. Stop thinking about everything you need to do and just be present for a few minutes. A free app that has Meditations that last a minute to an hour is Insight Timer. Try a different meditation each day.

This post brought to you by Kappie Bliss, retired LPC/WHS Counselor, Positive Discipline Facilitator

Happy Holidays from Austin/Houston Therapy for Girls!