Don’t Let Holiday Stress Ruin Your Relationships!
The pressure of the holidays and extra time spent with loved ones can really show us where we need to do work to keep relationships strong.
To improve your relationship with your spouse:
Plan quality time together. Don’t wait, make plans, stick to them, and have fun!
Work the magic formula, 5 to 1. It’s proven that stable and happy couples have five positive interactions for every negative one. Make sure you have 5:1 positive to negative demonstrations and verbalizations of love to your spouse.
Discuss your dreams and plan for the future.
To improve relationships with your children:
With young children, get some quality time through floor time since their language is that of play and art.
With adolescents, get to know their native community - social media and their cyberspace community, their friends, and choices.
With college-aged kids, keep your finger on the pulse of their schedule to combat disconnection and avoid loneliness.
To improve relationships with your aging parents:
Keep your aging parents in the loop through technology. A good bonding experience can be taking the time to show them how to use the latest technology.
Join AARP to help keep them safe and avoid scams.
Discuss end of life issues before crisis strikes.
To strengthen relationships with your in-laws:
Bring props to family events such as photo albums, family movies, board games, other buffers.
Lower expectations because they are not blood and you don’t have decades of history.
Show that you care and work on building new traditions with them.
To strengthen relationships within your blended family:
Evaluate and revise family rituals. Create new ones together
Be patient. It takes about 7 years for a blended family to feel integrated and settled in as a family.
Be respectful of the family members who are not living in the household.
It may sound cliché, but take the time this season to remember what the holidays are really about. Never forget to be grateful that you have a family to stress you out!