Coping with family stress around the holidays

November 21, 2008 4:32:58 PM PST
How to cope with family stress during the holiday season.

Family Stress:
During the holidays, stress arises because every family becomes a "blended family." Each partner brings to the relationship a set of traditions and expectations from their families of origin. This is especially true of two types of couples:

  • Newlyweds, who are just learning what it means to be "we" and "us."
  • Remarried couples who have are learning to compromise, yet also have to consider their children and their traditions with their ex-spouses.

    Coping with Family Stress:
    It is important to look at what is "yours, mine and ours." Many times we feel that we might be short-changed on that what your spouse wants is unfair. Getting past these feelings will allow both of you to deal with other stressors, such as money or travel. Look at the Holidays as a win-win situation. This requires compromise.

    Tips for Compromising:
    Compromise = Taking the best from two sources and blending them to make something new.

  • Review your personal traditions and pick the two that are most important to you.
  • Be open to those of your spouse. Agree to respect and honor his or her two top priorities.
  • Discover why these two traditions are important to your partner. The investment will mean a lot to him or her.
  • Observe each individual's two top traditions. In doing so, you create your own traditions.
  • This will allow your family to get into a system.
  • Examine these traditions each year to ensure your needs and the needs of your spouse and children are being met.

    Online Resources:

  • http://www.thestepfamilylife.com/HolidaySurvivalGuide.htm
  • http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Miller20.html
  • http://wp2.medina-gazette.com/2007/11/20/accent/yours-mine-ours-blended-families-can-survive-the-holidays/

    For an appointment or more information you can contact:
    Nancy C Joyce
    Phone: 925-286-6580


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