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A positive parenting toolkit for the school holidays

The school holidays are upon us and I know how busy you are. So, I thought I’d help you save time on your holiday prep and bring together in one place all the positive parenting strategies you’ll need for encouraging children’s positive behaviour these holidays. Here is your essential positive parenting toolkit for surviving the school holidays. You’re welcome! School's out!

The first thing you’ll need to do is to set some ground rules. Make it clear what’s acceptable and what isn’t so everyone knows where they stand and your children have the best chance of getting things right. You could even get the kids to make a Holiday Rules poster and decorate it. Whether it’s what time they need to get up, how many ice-creams they can eat, how many hours of tech time is allowed or who’s loading the dishwasher each day, if you can, make the rule explicit in advance. If the rules are agreed in advance, there’s likely to be less conflict.

Maximise the chances of the rules sticking by offering some motivating rewards. I’m not talking about bribes to avoid bad behaviour but positive rewards for sticking to the rules (and if you’re not sure which is which, read What’s the difference between rewards and bribes?!)

If you are hoping for some quality time with your teenager, there is definitely a Right and Wrong Way to Plan Fun Family Time with a Teenager. Find a time to sit down at the beginning of the holidays and brainstorm some activities a reluctant teen might be prepared to at least tag along to. If you set a budget and give them full rein (within a few key constraints!) you will up your chances of a willing teenage participant. If you are out of ideas, read How to get a teenager out of their bedroom.

If your holiday plans involve long journeys, you might want to remind yourself of these tips for How to survive long journeys with young children. And, if you’re not going away and you have older children, you’ll want these ideas on tearing teens off tech in the school holidays! Or try these ideas to get tweens active.

If you have more than one child, you’ll also need to get ready to deal with bickering. When kids have too much time on their hands (or, indeed, in most other circumstances too), a bit of bickering is inevitable. But it will drive you mad after too many days of it. So, head sibling conflict off at the pass with my Sibling Conflict Survival Guide.

And if the disruption of the holidays sends your little (or big) one’s behaviour off the edge, or you find yourself frazzled by the sheer joy of their company, I suggest you take a look at How not to shout to help you keep your cool!

So, bookmark this post and you will be fully equipped with all the essential parenting strategies you’ll need these school holidays in one handy positive parenting toolkit! Enjoy!

photo pf a girl on a bike in the summer in article on positive parenting by parenting expert Anita Cleare

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