How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 7 The Morning

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

The Morning | All right you’re going to get up. You’re going to wake your children up slowly. This will help their Circadian rhythm, an area in their brain, a body/mind experience controlled by a little area in the brain. This helps their Circadian rhythms turn on slowly and wake up. After you’ve done that, you give them five or ten minutes. I teach a parenting technique called Ten-Twenty-Ten. It gives your child ten minutes of quality time and attention first thing in the morning before they wake up. They receive twenty minutes in the afternoon when they arrive home from school or you get home from work. Finally, give them ten minutes of quality time and attention in the evening. If you’ll do that, it will have a significant impact on your child’s behavior. It will have a significant positive impact.

Once we have our children fully awake, they start getting ready. They’ve been calmly awakened. They feel good. We’re going to give them a nutritious breakfast. A tasty, nutritious breakfast will start their systems activated correctly. Then they are going to get dressed and we’re going to be heading out the door early this time. We’re not waiting until the last minute. We’re leaving early. For some adoptive or foster parents, there might be additional considerations. They might be afraid to get into the car.

What are you going to say to a child who is afraid. The child could be ten and under. They could even be twelve and under. Typically, teenagers can handle this transition a little easier. What you’re going to say to your child is, “I know getting in the car can feel scary but we’ll be back and you’ll be okay. We’re going to have a good time, and everything is going to be alright.” Reassure your child that everything is going to be okay.

Now, here’s the part about sacrifice. If you know anything about investing, you know sometimes you have to invest upfront to get a payoff on the back end. Too often people want the back end payoff but they don’t want to spend time to invest upfront. Here’s the first really significant investment in your child. If you’re a two-parent household, one of the adults rides in the backseat. I know. I know. You want to spend this time with your spouse. You were hoping to be able to talk and hold hands and enjoy driving to Thanksgiving dinner...not be stuck in the back seat. Get over it. You did that last year and what happened? Ten minutes down the street you were pulling over.

We’re going to do something different this year. One parent sits in the backseat. If you are a single parent, you’ve got one child, let your child sit in the front seat with you if they’re old enough. If they’re old enough, let them sit in front with you because that will allow you to have contact with them. Even if they’re old enough to be in a car seat facing away from the airbag toward the seat, let them sit in front with you. That will allow you to have contact with them.

If you have two children, have one sit in the front and one sit in the back. The one sitting in the back should sit on the side behind you on the driver’s side. Why? We don’t want any kicking of the backseat bothering the child sitting up front. Because that’s just more stress. You’ve got one in the front and one in the back so now you’re ready to drive. Have coloring books and other activities for them. I am not against the DVD players. I am not against the CD players. However, my opinion is if you’re going to use those things, you have to cut them off at least a half an hour before you arrive at your destination. If it’s a long drive, I’d say one movie tops. Otherwise you have to cut off at least a half an hour of the movie before your destination. That gives your child’s brain an opportunity to regulate and prepare for the next transition. Keep that in mind. I think the DVD’s and games can be lifesavers. Even so, the Game Boy’s and iPods must turn off a half an hour before arriving. Just let your children know that at that point, you are going to play ‘I Spy’ or sing songs or something else together. By doing this, you are helping them transition and be calmer when you arrive.

Coming Up Next… The Arrival

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.


Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

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