Top 10 Mistakes Parents Make at XMAS

Top 10 Mistakes Parents Make at XMAS

(that can contribute to children becoming troubled later in life)

10. Open more than one present before Xmas morning.

a. Instead:

i. Make them wait. Instilled patience before reward is 1 of 5 precursors for adult success in life according to a landmark study done in 1965.

9. Let your child verbally tell you their wish list.

b. Instead:

i. They can write it down and do the work that is required for results. Do you want to teach them short cuts pay off without putting in any meaningful work?

8. Make a new years resolution:

c. Why? Because you will fail, and your child is role modelling you.

d. Instead:

i. Write down a goal for you and your child before New Year’s, then work on it for 15 minutes a day, and guarantee your win. Your child is still role modelling you.

7. Buy video games that simulate real life for your children (role playing games with violence)

e. Why? Flat out not good for your children. Uses 1/3 the brain to execute an activity that in nature uses the all 3/3 of the brain.

f. Instead: Buy them a physical activity item, skiis, balls, membership to Karate. Then go skiing with them, throw the ball, train together, bond.

i. If you must, just buy one game like car racing games or non-life simulation.

6. Drink in front of your teenager.

g. Instead:

i. Offer them a drink, be cool for a change. Cool parents will always have a teen bonded to them that will come to them with any problems.

5. Point out that if your children do better at school Santa will be nicer to them at XMAS.

h. Why? Other times of year then YES, but not at XMAS. This time of year is hyper-focus on family and should communicate that no matter what the child has your acceptance.

i. Instead:

i. 3 times/day acknowledge something likeable about them. Handsome? Shoulders look broad in that sweater? Hair looks pretty? Affable sense of humor?

4. Bend over backwards to be with estranged young adult children:

j. Instead:

i. Be where it’s comfortable and others can enjoy you because your relaxed. Tell your estranged adult child you can’t make it, you will take XMAS where you feel like it, you have other people in your life, and they can join you if they can make it happen or are welcome.

ii. Then put aside 2 meaningful hours to talk to them on the phone in utter privacy and silence and ask them about their year.

3. Visit too many friends and family.

k. Instead: Be present to your children in your home, where they need you. You can’t be hectic and present at the same time.

2. Buy them presents that they can use by themselves.

l. Why: It’s evidence you want them in another room playing with out you.


i. Buy at least one present that requires time with you.

1. Movie passes, dinner for two, 2 nerf guns so you can shoot each other, passes to a trampoline park for 2, tea set for 2 so you can sit down with your daughter for a tea party.

Number 1 mistake parents make with their children at XMAS (that could position children for troubles)

1. Tell your children you love them:

n. Why? Your child’s nerves are wired to be shown they are loved by you, not told.

o. Instead:

i. Walk past them 3 Times/day and touch their body; rub an arm, hand on shoulder, fingers through hair, rub their rib cage with your knuckles gently is a good one, and so is a pat on the bum.

ii. Then walk away and do not focus on it, make a big deal, or make eye contact and dwell on it.


This XMAS Be friendly to your child’s nervous system. Call me if you’d enjoy some support 403-391-4184

Contact Tom Barthel at, or phone (403)391-4184.