Disturbing Behavior

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.

“…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law…”

Galatians 5:22-23

We’d love to know… How do you help your children maintain balance during the Christmas season?

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8 thoughts on “Disturbing Behavior

  1. One thing we always did was to limit sweets. Sugar does flow like a flood at the various holidays, and we almost always received a very welcome box of assorted chocolates. Our rule was each family member could have one piece after supper. (And before brushing teeth for bed.) They learned moderation that way. I hope. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even in my best approach I still fall short. We try to maintain balance by not excluding the kids from contributing their ideas to the decision making process. I carry the right of veto, which also helps. We’ll openly discuss most plans. E.g.: dinner menu, outings. We’ll hear them out if it’s something they really want to do or not do. Then make a decision giving reasons for it. One recent example is our tradition of decoration day. We put that forward due to their Youth group commitments on the day we normally do it. Win. Win.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a wonderful read. It is so true that it always comes down to us (parents) to keep the balance and make it easy to do the right thing for our kids. I feel that routines are especially important when their schedules have new/unusual elements. I’ve noticed that all the things you mentioned; junk food, lack of sleep and lack of routines highly affects my daughter. Thank you for the beautiful reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was so restrictive…haha…
    When we went to get an oral vaccine—over fifty years ago, when these things were not like they are now—the nurse told my son, “This will taste just like Kool-Aid.”
    Long pause.
    Me: Umm…Ma’am…He doesn’t actually know what Kool-Aid is….” Really long pause… “Say ‘juice’.”
    Nurse: This will taste just like JUICE!”

    So, to answer the question, “Yes” 😀


  5. awesome read. right now I am still trying figure out appropriate disciplining. I understand my son in no way grasps cause and effect as we do, and I also take into consideration the components of tiredness, hunger, and everything else you mentioned. I rationalize his behavior, but at the same time, I know he needs discipline. The question is how? I want to teach him, but I also do not want to harm his confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

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