When Kids Balk at Celebrating

As holidays or special events approach, kids may resist attending or participating. Be careful not to jump to conclusions (like thinking there’s nothing you can do about it). Instead, ask questions to find out what’s really going on and see what you can do to lower your child’s resistance.

  • Kids know when they’re in the way or that they’re not wanted. Some families place a large emphasis on the adults getting together and talking, which can be boring to kids. If this is the case, try to find a way to create an activity or two that the kids find interesting.
  • Monitor your family’s activity and stress levels. When kids feel overwhelmed, they’re less likely to want to do things. Sometimes it helps to say that instead of attending a holiday event for an entire day that you’re only going to stay for three or four hours.
  • Make the case for family holidays. Even if kids think they’re stupid and boring, point out how they’re something your family does and values. Work to interject activities or rituals that will get your kids more interested.
  • If the holiday or special occasion is open to outsiders, consider letting your child invite a friend along. This is often helpful for family reunions and picnics.

Kids may be resistant to celebrating family holidays for various reasons. But by making an effort to understand what your child dislikes about these events, and making some concessions (if necessary), you can make special occasions better for everyone.



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