Cousins Getting Along in the Holidays-- 8 Reminders for Kids


Supporting children's mental health is all about teaching skills, and supporting successes. Walking kids through experiences and teaching them how to handle themselves builds resilience. And the holiday season provides ample opportunity for teaching lessons about community and relationships.

December is a time for family festivities, as we all travel over the river and through the woods to see family. The holiday season is full of family gatherings, and for kids and teens, that means getting together and getting along with people they barely know (but are supposed to love). Since cousins and other family members may not be the kinds of personalities kids understand, conflict is all too common.

A little advanced planning and discussion can go a long way towards placing kids in the right mindset to ensure everyone gets along, however. And having a successful family get together builds skills for healthy relationships all year long. Here are 8 things to discuss in advance, to help the kiddos have maximum fun with minimum drama this December:

1.     Cousins may be your favorite kinds of people, or they may not be. You still have to get along.

2.     Include everyone. It’s a rule.

3.     Get ready to adapt. Whatever you are accustomed to at school or with your friends, time with rarely seen family is bound to be different.

4.     Put yourself in other peoples’ shoes. This goes a long way toward helping you be kind and considerate.

5.     Think before you act. This, too, is a rule.

6.     Mind your tone. Sometimes you want to organize the kids or direct them toward an activity, and they aren’t listening. You still need to be respectful and polite.

7.     Be prepared to compromise. You won’t always get your way in any group.

8.     Take a little quiet time to regroup when you need it.


Posted on December 4, 2017 .