The holidays are filled with social gatherings, family dinners and opportunities to connect and share the joy of the season. But with this festive season also come land mines that are within every family -- all this togetherness can sometimes backfire. So, how do we avoid this meltdown? Here are some tips to assist you in keeping the family peace during the holidays.
Children may worry they are being disloyal if they start to have too much fun with one parent. They also worry about the parent that they are not with, wondering if that parent is okay. Sometimes they just deeply miss the parent they are not with. The familiar traditions may be gone and this can leave the children feeling as though something or someone is missing.
Have you noticed that every holiday season, the pressure builds as everyone rushes around buying too much stuff before the Big Day? Then our festive bubble bursts just after New Year's when they announce how much new debt everyone has incurred. And then just as suddenly, the talk turns to RSPs and taxes. The collective anxiety is enough to give everyone a massive ulcer.
As a community nurse I've heard stories from families who, instead of checking items off shopping lists and going to holiday parties, were taking someone to multiple medical appointments. Or, they were worried and asking me how to keep their mom calm and comfortable at the busy family gathering as her dementia was taking hold.
"Family-Holiday Culture" has a massive influence on us. We are genetically and socially programmed to seek out being a part of this culture. But what if the group or the family culture we belong to, especially at holiday time, causes us pain, worry, fear, sadness, guilt, shame, rage, and most importantly the loss of our own "Self-Culture," our authentic relaxed self?
The festive season, not surprisingly, can be one that causes anxiety for many of us who are trying to balance parenting along with all of the other responsibilities. The good news is that there are ways for parents to alleviate the stresses that are a very real part of the holidays. By following the tips below, you can survive the festive season with the kids -- and even enjoy them as well.
The holidays are a time where we can recognize and appreciate the beautiful people in our lives. Families and friends make time to get together and it can also be a time to reflect on the past year. However, many of us may find it stressful dealing with all the activities and crowds. Stay calm this season by taking the following steps: