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How to Avoid School Holiday Stress

16 January 2014

Many families dread school holidays because they can quickly become one of the most stressful times of the year. Fortunately, that stress is easy to avoid according to Professor Bob Montgomery, the president of the Australian Psychological Society.
Montgomery believes that most of that stress is caused by parents’ failure to properly calm children. He thinks that calming strategies can make school holidays the relaxing experience they’re supposed to be.

Some of Montgomery’s tips for managing children on holiday include:

  • Avoid physical punishment such as spanking or swatting; it only increases stress and makes the situation worse.
  • Never discipline a child when you are angry. Instead, calm down and revisit the situation.
  • Parents should calm themselves with breathing exercises or a discussion with someone else before disciplining a child.
  • Have strategies to deal with stressful situations, such as misbehaviour, in place before you leave on holiday.
  • Have some structure or routine built into each day because children like routine.

Stress doesn’t have to be part of your school holiday. Most parents can avoid it with a little imagination and some foresight.

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