Three Holiday Strategies for Stressed-Out Parents

Three Holiday Strategies Header
Momentous Institute
By Momentous Institute Dec 05, 2016

Thanks to Norman Rockwell and other idealistic portrayals of the holiday season, expectations for blissed-out perfection run high at this time of year. Reality, however, rarely measures up. Schedules are off, sugar intake is high, and Aunt Thelma is in town… Yikes!

Here are three strategies to help navigate holiday stressors.

1.       Expect Chaos

Wake up each morning and picture what you expect the day to hold and embrace all the ways things might become chaotic. Most of our frustration comes when things don’t go as we think they “should.” If we hold expectations loosely, there is less room for frustration to run rampant. When we approach the holidays in our most open, least rigid posture, we are opening up space for a much more pleasant experience for all.

2.       Cup and Saucer

This cup and saucer metaphor comes from Dr. Stephen Finn. Think of your child as a cup and you as the saucer. A young child has a very small cup. She can hardly contain all her feelings and emotions. They often spill out over the edge of the cup, and it becomes the job of the saucer (aka the parent) to catch and hold them. This can be especially useful during the holiday season when cup spillage is VERY common in every home. When things get intense this season, just repeat this chant in your head: Be the saucer, be the saucer, be the saucer.

3.       Know Your Triggers

One of our favorite quotes is, “With awareness there is choice, without awareness only habit.” Paying attention to what consistently gets under your skin can go a long way in the holiday season. For example, imagine your son opens a present that you carefully picked out and instead of expressing gratitude asks: Why didn’t I get the blue one? 

Kid Disappointed Christmas

If one of your triggers is worrying about raising entitled children (Good for you!), then any failure to express gratitude, even age-appropriate ones, can set you off. If you know your triggers, you can choose to take a deep breath and respond more calmly.

This holiday season, remember that while we can’t control everything, we can control our reactions.

Hope your holidays are filled with memorable, crazy, chaotic, wonderful moments!

Holiday Image

©2019 Momentous Institute
Comments with profane language or derogatory statements about a person or group of people will be deleted.

comments powered by Disqus