Why Kids Behaviors Change Near the Holidays

Tuesday December 4, 2012

By Amy Morin

Ever noticed that kids sometimes act worse as it gets closer to the holidays? Despite parents' warnings that "Santa's watching," kids often just can't seem to get their behavior under control.

There's lots of reasons why kids sometimes act worse as the calendar nears the middle of December. For one, they are of course excited. It's hard to concentrate on your math homework when there's a Christmas tree ten feet away.

Not to mention all the extra sugar that often comes with the holiday season. Christmas cookies, gingerbread men, and candy canes galore can certainly hype any child up on sugar.

Then there's the fact that schedules often change a little during the holiday season. Maybe you let him stay up a little later to watch Rudolph. Or maybe you went to the tree lighting ceremony and didn't even leave the house until it was his usual bedtime.

And who could forget the holiday parties? It's likely there's been more friends, more families and more activity than usual. Combine this with cooler weather and darker evenings and it can certainly wind any child up like a top.

And although the holidays are a good kind of stress, at least for most kids, it is still stress. And stress impacts kid's behaviors in lots of ways. Perhaps he whines a little more. Or maybe he's behaving aggressively. And if you're lucky, maybe he's just got a little more attitude lately.

There are steps you can take to help kids who are stressed out, even when it is the good kind of stress. Their discipline needs may change a little and it's important to help them learn how to deal with their excitement, frustration, and even disappointment throughout the holiday season.

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