As we all know too well, holidays are more than festive occasions and celebrations. They are a time when families get together and the combination of old grudges, holiday drinks, and way too much time together can become a toxic mix verging on disaster. Sometimes we arrive at a relative's house as an adult and quickly regress into teenage behavior. And, yup, your teens are watching and learning.
They are learning not only how you behaved as a teenager but are also developing their own blueprint about how to celebrate the holidays. They will likely carry that blueprint into their adulthood.
Consider what you may inadvertently be teaching your teens:
1. Hold grudges and bring them up during the holiday season.
2. Drink too much and eat too much and act recklessly. Let it all hang out during the holidays.
3. Fight with your mother and pull out all the stops. Remind her of how much she preferred your other sibling(s.) Induce guilt during the holidays.
4. Compare all of the children to one another and brag away. Be sure to teach mean-spirited competitiveness.
5. Complain about the quality of the gifts. After all, it's the cost that counts.
Remember the holiday season is not only an opportunity to celebrate but also a time to teach your kids about how to celebrate.
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