Helping employers to boost working-parent wellbeing, productivity & work-life balance

Behind the post-holiday smiles...

“Did you enjoy your holiday?”


Well, there’s only one polite way to answer this question in a workspace full of your colleagues.


“Yes, we had a lovely time thank you.”


And then you smile through gritted your teeth guarding the knowledge that your holiday was, on the contrary, a complete catastro- 🤬!


The reality is that the holiday periods are where I face the highest number of enquiries from those who are raising older children.

Their request for my services is either due to the fear of what is going to happen between themselves and their teens/tweens - or their enquiries are in the wake of the nuclear fallout resulting from their time away together!


The screaming matches.

The poor attitude.

The incessant complaints and the level of ingratitude.

It all comes to a head - and the thirty-degree heat does nothing to quell tempers!

Hundreds or thousands of pounds spent. The anticipation of a long-awaited family break, built up throughout the previous year?


“Yeah! It was great - thanks for asking!”


The question is - why do so many families implode during this time?

Well, there are several reasons. Here are three:


1. No Escape Route!

The family holiday is where relationships are truly tested.

There are limited hiding places. It’s all in! Together!

It’s where the mirror is held up and an honest, raw picture of the true nature of the family dynamics are reflected.

It’s where the worn and thinning paper that has been used to cover over the relational cracks - flakes away to reveal the gaping chasms.

Suddenly pushed together, there is little escape from the imposed, pressured, family-bonding, activity time. 😬

Just think about it - during the holidays, families spend a longer period of time together than is their ‘norm’.

The structure of our weeks determines that during term time, working parents/carers have limited interactions with their children. The weekdays consist of getting ready in the mornings for work and school and in the main, the evenings are about getting ready for work and school the next day.

The weekends also tend to be quite structured, with household chores being carried out, extra-curricular activities attended, catch ups with friends and extended family, and well-earned down time before a return to the working week.

So, even if there aren’t fractious relationships - it can still take a minute to adjust.


“We really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks”


2. The Social Pressure

Holidays are also where immense pressure builds ‘to have a good time’, so that this success can be reported back to friends and colleagues and documented across the social channels.

No judgement - this is the world we live in!

The holiday can become a time where the burden to portray a happy family IS the agenda!


So, as you can see, if relationships are frayed between parents/carers and their teens/tweens, the holiday is the time where the pressure cooker is cranked right up!


“It just wasn’t long enough!”



3. The Adolescent Years

The adolescent years are a tumultuous time for most families anyway.

There are so many changes that are occurring for young people – hormonal, physical, neurological, and social.

On top of this - it's a time where they tend to pull away from parents/carers, often displaying feelings of contempt and opposition.

Add to this, the restrictions of holidaying in unfamiliar surroundings – away from home comforts and their friends – it doesn't take much to imagine the discontent leading to epic meltdown mode - where their formidable, unharnessed energy can impact negatively on the whole family unit.


“Yeah, the kids really enjoyed themselves. Thanks for asking!”



What can you do?

As a leader in your workspace or as a working parent/carer you can advocate for more support.

Can you imagine how thankful your parents/carers would be if actual strategies to ease the holiday friction could be provided?

Well, you can make a difference.

There is still time for you to book our ‘Done For You’ Taster Workshop – before the holiday season kicks in!

The workshop will provide your parents/carers with a step-by-step guide on how to reduce conflict with their sparky teens and tweens - and how to address behaviour without carnage ensuing.

It is also designed to get your colleagues talking about, and sharing their challenges – building on the sense of belonging and peer-to-peer support that is vital in productive organisations.


CLICK HERE  for details – and happy holidays!

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