Give a Free Pass for the Holidays

December 24, 2013 Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

What’s a free pass, you say? A free pass is something that allows children to enjoy the holidays without worrying about being punished for negative behavior. Some of the parents I’ve met as a professional feel that it’s okay to take away holiday gifts from kids as punishment for negative behavior. These are parents that tend to take away or punish kids for every little negative thing they do and keep a record of negative behaviors. The truth is kids want to behave well and want to please their parents. The holiday treats can motivate kids to give positive behavior. If you want to have a great holiday season, try these three tips.

[caption id="attachment_2372" align="alignleft" width="328" caption="Give Your Child a Pass for the Holidays"][/caption]

Lighten up

If every negative thing your special needs child does is irritating, maybe it isn’t your child, but you. Sometimes, our own negative attitudes about our children’s behavior can make it difficult to give them a free pass. I know that if I keep dwelling on Bob’s negative behaviors, I’m going to keep myself a Scrooge. Keep your cool and your whole outlook can change.

Reduce your expectations

Sometimes as parents, we can be pretty rigid about behavior, especially those of us (myself included) who get calls from school about our children. Having high expectations about behavior can lead to frequent punishments and unhappy kids. I give Bob a break over the holidays. He can be a bit more laid back about chores and overall behavior because I’m okay with letting him have a real vacation.

Keep regular consequences

While reducing expectations can help, throwing out all of the rules can be a bad thing. So I keep the consequences in place while not being so rigid about what I expect from him. Bob has consequences for positive and negative behavior. For negative behaviors, Bob can lose television time, play time or go to bed early. For positive ones, he gets extra time to play or watch television. Over the holidays, I keep up the routine to encourage Bob to keep up the good work. You can maintain them over the holidays to avoid being the parent that takes everything away.

Giving kids a free pass over the holidays can make things easier to manage. With busy holiday schedules, gift-giving and family, there’s little time to spend being annoyed. Why not give your child a free pass to make the holidays fun and worry-free? Happy Holidays!

photo credit: Mykl Roventine via photopin cc

APA Reference
Zalamar, H. (2013, December 24). Give a Free Pass for the Holidays, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 23 from

Author: Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

Dr Musli Ferati
January, 6 2014 at 9:58 pm

Holidays celebrating indicates somewhat stressing life event, because it underlines disorder of common daily circumstances. As to refer to family celebrations, it ought to say that holidays exhibit an opportunity to relax relationship between parents and their loved children. But this likeness might be exhausting one, if any side of family network system abuses holidays benefits. The probabilities to happen these unsuited trials are numerous ones, because relaxing statement of family members is trigger factor for many interpersonal attacks. The responsibility for these quarrels is to parents as patrons of theirs children. In order to avoids intra-familiar conflict it should permit some daily misunderstanding of children's conducts and believes. Your recommendation on to give free pass for the holidays is advisable one, but this freedom shouldn't be unlimited. Children, on the other hand, didn't know the boundary of their freedom and the right of others. There are parent whose deed is to balancing these subtle tendencies.

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