Dealing With Family Over the Holidays

This time of year, most people’s social calendars are full. Even extroverts may find themselves inundated and exhausted by dealing with others—and family can prove to be the most challenging of all. Here are a few tips to keep your sanity as you party into the new year.

Parents

When you spend time with parents it can be easy to fall into old patterns. Don’t do it. At least, don’t tap into the negative aspects. That old dynamic was likely established when they were overwhelmed young parents and you were a spirited adolescent. Now you are all adults, capable of kindness and understanding. Set healthy boundaries and stick to them, but reinforce them with a gracious “It may be better if we don’t discuss this,” rather than a pouty “That’s none of your business!”

Children

If you are the parent of adults, extend to your children the respect you’d like from your own parents. If your children are young, keep the holidays in perspective. You may be too busy to make this the most magical season of their lives, and that is perfectly okay. Children don’t need the best gift on the planet, but they will benefit from having an upbeat, relaxed, happy parent. If you are divorced or have a separation agreement tampa in place, do not interfere with the time your children spend with their other parent. Resist the urge to badmouth the other parent or to outdo them on the gift front. Communicate with business-like civility and courtesy.

Extended Family

Enjoy catching up with those you haven’t seen in years; listen to their stories and share a few of your own. Steer clear of topics likely to cause conflict, such as old family rifts, religion and politics. When differences of opinion do arise, be as tolerant as you can and don’t devote your time to changing their stance. You are unlikely to do so no matter how much evidence is on your side. Try to be sensitive to other people but not overly sensitive to what they say or do.

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