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Parenting this time of year: Helping your kids avoid a holiday meltdown

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Posted at 5:23 AM, Dec 01, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Most parents know the scene well - you're out in the holiday hustle and bustle with your kids - and all of a sudden something happens, and they're melting down. The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone - so we've got some ways you can help keep that holiday cheer, and avoid a tantrum.

Manage Expectations

Parenting expert CJ Banks with EPIC (Every Person Influences Childen) says the best way to manage your expectations for your kids is to make sure they know them far in advance of anything your family is doing. He says proper behavior is something that needs to be taught, and if you expect kids to automatically know what to do and how to behave, you're setting yourself up for failure.

"A lot of times right before it happens - is too late," he explained. "If you fail to plan - you just plan to fail. And when parenting comes into play, preparation and planning is key. Before you go to the supermarket, before you go shopping - you set the rules. Set the plan. This is what we're going to do today. Talk about rewards, positive motivational things that will help the child look forward to some positivity."

Be Clear with Your Kids

Banks says you can have conversations about expected behavior as you play with your kids, and that acting out how they should and shouldn't behave can help them understand.

"Sometimes people will do it with toy figures. Mom and dad toy figures. Just to start to get the child thinking, so that when the time comes, you can say, 'Hey, remember when we talked about good behavior being important in a store? This is one of those times.' So let's talk about the things we talked about doing," he said.

Banks himself is a parent to eight children between the ages of four months and 15 years old. 7 Eyewitness News anchor Katie Morse asked him to share other parenting tips that he says have worked well for his family. You can watch their full conversation here: