Why can't I use Santa as a weapon!

The holidays are a fun time of year, especially for kids.  But if you’re not careful, they can be the worst time of year for parents.  A parenting expert came up with a list of the five biggest mistakes parents make this time of year.

Here they are . . .

1.  Creating unrealistic expectations.  That means don’t let kids think they’re getting everything they’ve ever wanted.  But also, don’t try to do too much.  You can have a great, memorable holiday without putting up 10,000 lights or baking cookies around the clock.  Make sure you give yourself room to relax.

2.  Using Christmas as a bribe.  Be careful about saying things like, “Be good, or Santa might not come.”  The holidays are about peace and goodwill, and it can turn them into a “selfish gain on the part of your children.”

3. Make yourself a “holiday martyr.”  Don’t put everyone’s needs ahead of your own.  Running yourself into the ground doesn’t make you a hero.  It makes you a parent who just ran themselves into the ground when they didn’t need to.

4.  Being “grinchy” around your kids.  Be careful how much you complain or vent about the holidays around your children, especially if they’re young.   Kids up to nine years old process information egocentrically.  That means when they find out there’s a problem, they often assume it’s their fault.

5.  Making the holidays all about getting, not giving.  Making wish lists and opening gifts is fun.  Just make sure to teach your kids the holidays are a time to be generous to OTHER people too.

One way to do it is to loop them in on other gifts you’re giving, so they feel like they’re part of it.