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Dear Katherine: I’m Nervous About Being Judged This Holiday Season

Dear Katherine,

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.

Sincerely,

Feeling Shy 

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. 

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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.

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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. 

No matter what you celebrate, having a lot of family coupled with excitement (and sometimes alcohol) can lead to a lot more drama than you bargained for. If you’re already dreading what the extra time and stress will do to your relationships, let me help you get ahead of it during my Holiday Parenting Hacks Workshop

I know you’re already SO overwhelmed this month so I’ve made it only ONE HOUR a day, December 7-9 12pm PST on Zoom! Access the workshop from anywhere!

In this Holiday Parenting Hacks Workshop you will discover…

  • One simple tool to help you INSTANTLY calm down, even in the middle of the holiday frenzy
  • A technique to steer clear of awkward conversations and blowout fights at the dinner table
  • The best way to manage conflict with your kids AND avoid interference from other family members
  • And SO MUCH MORE!!!

I can’t wait to share all of this rich and essential parenting wisdom with you. 

Love and Blessings,

Katherine

3xTEDx Speaker, Media Contributor, parenting coach and mom of two. Helping families thrive for over 20 years using the Guidance Approach to Parenting.