How to Survive the Holidays when you Live with a Struggling Student
Holiday Stress and Struggling Students - Episode 012
The holidays can be stressful for parents. You have to call Butterball turkey for thawing directions, set the seating assignments so exes don’t argue,and debate between too much or too little food. To add to the stress, your teenager’s school might have sent a progress report home to make your eyes bulge and heart race a little more.
You spent the last 3-4 months fighting with your child over missing homework and now you are supposed to give them second helpings of pie?! How can you survive the holiday stress AND reconnect with your kiddo?
Remember the Good Times
This holiday season, I want you to take 25 seconds and close your eyes. I want you to remember the last good memory you had with your child. What activity was it? How were you both feeling? What were the smells like? Go deep into that memory because I want you to get ALL the feels.
Then, I need you to think what you had to let go of to get to that moment. Did you let go of your to-do list? Did you stop trying to control things that you cannot control? Did you decide not to be perfect? What did you stop doing that made that moment so awesome?
Feel free to ask your child the same question! Listen to this episode together and talk about the last time you had fun together.
The Holiday Challenge
I want you to commit to finding one activity you and your child can do together that does not involve talking about grades. Let go once again of the things that allowed you to have fun with your child in that memory.
You can talk about school later. School doesn’t care if you and your child are fighting. School doesn’t have any place in your quality relationship with another human being. The best gift you can give to your family is one moment that lets you focus only on rebuilding your relationship. It might be awkward. Maybe you haven’t had a pleasant conversation with your child in a long time. The best step to overcome this is to go in with no expectations.
Spend some fun, quality time doing something silly. Get outside of your normal routine and start a new tradition. If you are living with a child who has been struggling with school, I am willing to bet your house could use a dose of laughter!
Need some ideas ? Read on!
Silly Ideas for Building Quality Time
Play that horrible Pie in the Face game that everyone bought for 500 dollars on the black market last year.
Watch movies from the 80’s like the Breakfast Club and see if life is still like that in school.
Cook together - We are making sticky buns from scratch and cheese dip (not to be eaten together).
Treat yourself and buy the board game your parents never bought you when you were a child and play it. Mouse Trap was my dream item back in the 80s. You can tell your kiddo you love them so much you are buying it for them.
Run into CVS and set off ALL of their singing Christmas toys and then run away.
Walk around the neighborhood at night and look at the decorations.
Go on Ebay and buy the ugliest decorations you can find and decorate your house.
Go on StubHub or Ticketmaster and find one random event neither of you would ever attend and go together.
Listen to this week’s episode of School Counselor Gone Rogue and talk about how lame I am.
DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN TALK ABOUT SCHOOL
Don’t let school destroy your holiday break
Think back to the last awesome moment you had with your child and think about what you had to give up to get there
Create one positive memory with your kiddo this holiday break
Surviving holiday stress and arguing teens
Dealing with progress reports in high stress times
The difference between sticky buns and cinnamon rolls
Marni Pasch| Host of School Counselor Gone Rogue| Academic Coach | Team Pasch Academic Coaching
I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors.