Staying Calm When Family Members Have Bad Behavior

December 15th, 2015 by Roy Patterson


Ever notice that sometimes it’s easier for your child to have good behavior when it’s just the two of you? You model good behavior, create a schedule that works for both of you, and are clear about the priorities you want to impose on them.
Then the doorbell rings and your family arrives to create chaos.

First, your brother starts convincing your daughter to skip dance class in order to hang with him and watch cartoons.

Second, your mother suggests over and over again that your daughter is spending too much time at dance class and not enough time on her homework.

You know they mean well, but you’re ready to throw them both out of your house.

Then your cousin starts to curse in front of your children.

Now you’re really ready to blow off your top!

There’s a way to survive these moments of family strife. Here are three ways how:


  1. Talk to your family members: Let’s face it, your family usually does the same things to annoy you every single visit. Talk to them ahead of time and tell them to quit it! This doesn’t mean they won’t try their old tricks, but at least everyone has a clear set of expectations of what is going to happen. Clarity can go a long way to avoid the long and tiresome negotiations.


  1. Bring your children into the conversation: Let your children know what you expect from them while family is visiting and what they may observe from family members. Remind your kids about the conversations you had when bad behavior pops up from others.


  1. Kill them all with kindness: Rather than adding fuel to the fire by yelling and losing your cool, be clear in your language and then move on. Show your mom your daughter’s last test, which she aced. Comment to your kids how funny your cousin is, even if his jokes use bad words. If you keep pointing out what you like and talking about the positive elements of your family, there will be less time to complain about the bad. Let’s face it, there will usually be some bad.

In the end, the holidays are about enjoying the time together with your family. Using these techniques will help you have the best time possible.


Have a Happy Holiday!

Want more behavior tips? Visit for a free gift for StarQuest parents.


Dance Competition Principals With Dr. Marcie Beigel

Dr. Marcie is a behavioral specialist based in Brooklyn. She has worked with thousands of families over 15 years and has condensed her observations into her practice and programs.

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