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Tips for the holidays

Tips for the holidays


Setting boundaries and allowances for friends and family during the holiday season. 

My husband and I have been married for 15 years and together for 16. Setting up family traditions of our own as well as continuing to be a part of the traditions of our families has been (at times) a bit of a struggle, both in logistics and interpersonal relationships.  

Here are a few things that I would suggest considering:

  1. Make time to try new things for your family. 

It may take a few years of trial and error to figure out what your family unit loves to do as a tradition. Try several things.  For example, getting a live tree.  Is the adventure of visiting a farm, picking out a tree, having hot cocoa, riding a hayride and going home ‘fun’ or stressful?  Maybe you’ll find out that you prefer or NEED a fake tree?

  1. Remember where you came from.

Do your best to add your family to your current family traditions. I know that people have different families of origin, and maybe what is best is complete separation.  That is fine.  If that is NOT you, remember it is important to your family to stay connected. Leave early, or make provisions if your baby needs to go to bed, but be a part.

  1. Be Flexible.

Bedtime or nap might be moved, someone might ‘baby talk’ your toddler, or grandma might say something that irritates you.  By being there and participating, you are teaching your child how to manage emotions and respond in difficult situations. Avoidance is not always an option in life. 

  1. Communicate your needs and boundaries. 

You need to communicate with your family what you need to be able to participate in life with them. It may be something like, please don’t smoke around my kid, or if you smoke, you cannot hold my child. A big thing for us was baby talk, we asked that no one ‘baby talked’ to our children, we wanted them to learn to speak clearly, and that meant that primary caregivers, and people who spent time with them needed to speak correctly around them. Your family may know you, but may not understand your family values, or your parenting style because of generational gaps, communication is the key to our society learning and growing. We need to build connections with our older and newest generation. They both have a LOT to teach us.