Hello, Conscious Parent! Welcome to “Dear Katherine,” a Q&A with real-life parents/caregivers. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, email me at email@example.com.
It’s our first holiday season since joining the Conscious Parenting Revolution, and I’m nervous about how my extended family will react to our new parenting style.
We’ll be spending Christmas with a large group, and I’m concerned that other family members’ tendency toward authoritarian discipline will confuse my children or undo some of the work we’ve done with them.
The holidays are already stressful enough, and I’m just not sure how to navigate this additional challenge.
Feeling Shy, you certainly aren’t the first parent to express these concerns to me.
It’s easy to feel self-conscious around family during the holidays. Family gatherings can be exciting, over-stimulating—and, yes, stressful—for everyone. Feeling the watchful eyes of parents, in-laws, and extended family is sure to make even the most confident parents nervous.
Unfortunately, if a family member is close-minded about conscious parenting, there’s little you can do to change their mind. It’s in your own best interest to accept that fact ahead of time.
But their judgment doesn’t mean you should feel ashamed of your parenting style. In fact, now is a great time to talk to your children about different parenting styles and why you parent them the way you do.
This conversation will help ensure that another family member’s disciplinary style doesn’t undo the work you’ve put in to consciously parent your children.
You can decide together how to respond to other family members. Perhaps you and your children can plan to regroup at the end of the day to discuss any incidents that occurred.
As for feeling uncomfortable parenting your child in front of others, I suggest that you avoid having an audience altogether if possible.
If your child acts out during your celebration, it’s in everyone’s best interest to talk about what happened in private. Take them to a quiet room or outside (weather-permitting) to have your conversation.
You can’t control the actions or opinions of others, but you can prepare yourself and your kids to respond appropriately.
I hope your holidays are festive—and as stress-free as possible!
Love and Blessings,
P.S. As your child grows, they’re bound to do things a little differently than you’d like. Maybe that means a college you disagree with, a tattoo you disapprove of or even a habit that’s less than ideal! So how do you handle these changes but maintain the relationship with your child? Watch me on Daily Flash TV discuss and give advice on kids and their personal style. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss other tidbits!