old friend of mine used to recommend manufacturing a huge argument at the beginning of the holidays. she'd shout and rant and the children would get slapped and cry. then the rest of the holidays would go beautifully.
Her dad read her the riot act about behaviour last Saturday; perfect until last night, then back into the old habits. It's her birthday tomorrow, and I'm hoping the behaviour is just down to a combination of end-of-year tiredness and over-excitement!