How to Enjoy the Holidays with Authoritative Parenting

Have a Happier Holiday Season with Authoritative Parenting


There is so much going on during the holiday season, it's easy to let good parenting practices fall behind. Here's how to keep the holiday rush from altering the way you parent with authoritative parenting.


What Exactly Is Authoritative Parenting?


In recent years, authoritative parenting has become a popular approach to child-rearing, thanks to its positive impact on virtually every stage of a child's development. Authoritative parents use positive reinforcement and reasoning to guide children, while avoiding punishments or threats to manipulate behavior.


At the same time, effective authoritative parenting involves consistent discipline, warmth, sensitivity, active listening and the setting of limits. While they hold high expectations for their children and encourage them to be independent, authoritative parents are careful to set consistent limits on certain actions, so children know what to expect and when to expect it.


Authoritative Parenting During the Holidays


Authoritative parenting can be especially useful during the holidays, when children are out of school and overwhelmed with excitement and expectations. So, how can you use authoritative parenting to rein in your child's behavior and ensure a happier holiday season?


Listen to your kids. Let your kids have a say in your holiday plans. Welcome their opinions, allow them to share their ideas, and listen attentively to their concerns. Allow your kids to contribute to your holiday décor and plan holiday festivities. In general, children will act out less during the holidays if they feel their needs and concerns aren't being ignored.


Validate your child’s emotions. Try to understand that kids are not as emotionally developed as adults. Don't shame or judge your child for reacting to a situation with frustration or disappointment. Instead, acknowledge your child's feelings and help him or her label emotions. During the holidays and beyond, you should work to help your kids to recognize how feelings can affect behavior.


Establish clear, consistent rules. Clearly outline non-negotiable rules and expectations during the holiday season. Your child should know right at the outset that they will need stay in their routine, even though they are out of school. That said, you should communicate openly and explain your reasons behind the rules. For instance, you might tell your children they need to maintain their usual bedtimes, because it helps then grow.


Impose reasonable consequences. Every child makes the occasional bad choice, and it can be frustrating for parents to manage behavior during the hectic holiday season. That said, you shouldn't try to control your child using corporal punishment or threats about disappointing Santa. Instead, use constructive consequences, such as limiting privileges like video game time or dessert.


Encourage self-reliance. Don't let the holiday season interfere with healthy child-rearing strategy. If your child struggles with behaviors and habits, create and a behavior management plan, such as checklists and reminders, that support his or her efforts to become more independent. You should also encourage self-discipline and self-reliance. For instance, instead of rushing to calm an upset or emotional child, try to teach self-soothing, anger management and impulse control. This won't just serve you and the child well during the hectic and unpredictable holiday season; it will help the child get on a path toward a happy, healthy life.

The authoritative parenting counselors at Foundations Counseling can provide you with the tools you need to utilize an authoritative parenting approach with your kids. Contact us today!