1). Remember, if your teen has been struggling, just the holiday season arriving does not automatically create a cure all or band- aid. Many times, without a positive purposeful change in atomosphere, and approach towards the child the holidays can become more of a stressful struggle for the teen and the family.
2). Since your child is the one struggling, he/she probably has been lacking strategies and reasoning skills to conquer the state they are in. It is time for the caring family to recognize the struggles, be patient, and include him/her in the holiday planning.
3.) Ask your teenager what they would like to help with: Ask what their best skill is and have them choose that activity. That will provide them with a feeling of belonging, responsibility, holiday spirit, and ownership. When the teen knows that they were involved in a positive way, and that the family is pleased with the accomplishment and help, it will create a positive feeling within.
4). Spending this time with your teenager will not only help you bond, but it will help you discover new things about each other that may have been ignore or pushed under the rug due to the struggles. Great time to break the old habits, start new family behaviors, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy Life.
5). When communicating with your teenager, dont allow yourself to have the majority of your conversation based on their struggles, challenges, bad behavior, etc. We all have positive points about us. Find the positive points of your child and make comments on them, praise them, encourage them. Dont forget, they already know that they are struggling, they dont need a constant reminder. They need, especially from parents and family members, support and love.
6). Ask your teen to give their suggestions about dinner, the party, decorations, vacation plans etc.. It will amaze you how involved and positive they will be toward the holidays when they are asked their opinion on different parts of the occasion.
7). Believe it or not, teens desire structure! Especially teens that are having difficulty with behaviors, struggling etc. They need to have a planned schedule, especially over the holidays. During school, they at least have school hours and classes to keep them organized. A week of too much free time can lead to negative decison making. Schedule your holiday break as best possible. ( Let your teen help you? )
8) HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES! ENJOY AND BE MERRY!