Disturbing Behavior

Sad Thoughts

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush, my kids can occasionally reach a point where they start to misbehave and become belligerent. Sometimes, they can pick a very inopportune moment to voice their rebellion.

While my first instinct is to become embarrassed and upset, I am trying to become better about thinking before reacting to their outbursts. Usually our kids are very well-behaved and obedient. If they are agitated, perhaps there is a reason.

While I am sure the list of reasons for my kids’ misbehavior could be endless, I believe it really boils down to a few basic things:

  • They are tired. With all the Christmas activities, sometimes the kids have skimped on the amount of sleep they are getting.
  • They are hungry. Excited and anxious to keep busy, my children will often refrain from eating.
  • They are too busy. Amidst all the fun, kids need downtime, too. Too much fun can be overwhelming.
  • They are not being given enough attention. The holidays can be a time of rush for mom and pop; buying presents, mailing cards, baking, and the like. Being neglected can often lead my children to act out, in hopes of receiving attention.
  • They are not being trained. In all the hustle and bustle of the season, mom and pop can become lazy in their attempts to maintain discipline.

Most of these problems have very simple solutions; it is only a matter of me taking the time to do the right thing.

  • I need to make sure we all get enough sleep. My kids are not going to willing fall into bed (at least not generally). I am responsible for setting bedtime and sticking to it.
  • I need to make sure they are eating well. It doesn’t matter how much fun they are having, I need to make my children sit down and eat a healthy meal. I should also monitor how much junk food they are taking in, especially during this time of year!
  • I need to avoid over-booking our schedule. While there are many events that appeal, trying to add everything will only tire us all out!
  • I need to make sure that I am listening to my children and not putting outside responsibilities before them.
  • I need to stop using grace as an excuse for laziness. My children are not going to train and discipline themselves; I need to remain consistent.

If I fail to fulfill my responsibilities as their parent, I am only making life harder on all of us. Christmas will only be less enjoyable and my family will lose sight of the true meaning of the season.

Maintaining a well-balanced routine will help us get the most of the holiday and keep mommy from dying of embarrassment.

How do you help your children maintain balance during the Christmas season?

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12 thoughts on “Disturbing Behavior

  1. During the month of Ramadan, there are so many invitations to people’s home to break the fast, it can get overwhelming very quickly! It sounds a lot like the excessive schedule you are talking about. This last year I learned by the end of the month that we just needed to start saying no to more people. We invited a number of friends to our home for a BBQ and I had an all women’s henna party a few days before Eid (the holiday at the end of the month). This way I get to see friends and family without dragging my kids all over town to do so. Staying home more and trimming down what we expect from ourselves keeps the holiday season focused more at home instead of what others expect from us, or pleasing others.

    Of course, we could just be more anti-social than some, but with an almost two year old in tow this year, it lends to wanting to do whatever it takes to keep her happy… even if that means being less social. 🙂

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    • I know what you mean. When each of our kids were very little, it was more difficult to stay out late or attend certain functions. It becomes even harder when some of your friends want to do adult only activities and you aren’t ready or able to do that yet.
      True friends will recognize your heart and motives; they’ll still be there when you are available.

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  2. I started blogging before I had three kids and I can remember being a little almost annoyed at parenting blogs that always seemed to say, “everything kids do wrong can basically be traced back to lazy parenting.” Now that I have three kids, I know that there’s so much truth to it. Peace really does depend on staying three steps ahead of the group.

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  3. With mine, I have had to learn to cut back on some of my expectations on how things should be and what all we should get to do. My children have Autism and the way I have been used to celebrating, decorating, and enjoying the Christmas season in years past is just too much for them to handle. To name a few, the parties are toned down and usually held at home with just 2 or 3 friends so the boys don’t get overwhelmed by too much change and commotion at once, the tree has taken some changes in how many ornaments I put on it and some of the more fragile ones are being put up for when they’re older and are able to understand and grasp the concept of breakable things (they’re both severely cognitively delayed), and I try not to commit myself to any projects that will either take a large portion of my time and energy if it is not something I could include them on in order for them not to feel neglected or left out.

    I still hold my kids to standards for behavior, manners, and the like but I am finding that sometimes the problem is not their fault even if they’re the ones “failing” or “acting up”. I need to meet them hald way on all this so that the environment my children find themselves in is supportive and calm enough that they can actually succeed at what is expected of them. Not over taxing their systems all the time with everything also has proven to leave more room for them to take in the stories I read to them about the first Christmas. A part I never want to get left out of our celebrations. : )

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