FAMILY VISIT SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Well its that time of year again when a lot of time is spent with family.For some this can be extremely joyous and for others,this time of year can be fraught with anxiety.I am going to pass these survival tips from leading relationships expert Harriet Lerner.

Tip #1: DO NOT DELEGATE YOUR FAMILY TO YOUR PARTNER. If you are having your family come to stay,make sure you take time off work.If this is impossible, make sure that you leave work early.You need to be present for your family.

Tip #2: CONNECT ONE ON ONE : Some families can be overwhelming. So invite each member to do a one- on – one activity such as a walk or a quick coffee.

Tip #3: STRUCTURE THE LENGTH OF THE VISIT: It is not reasonable to tell your visitors that they can only stay a day or two, particularly if they have travelled quite some way.However, stay in charge of the visit.Compromise and allow a reasonable length of time yet, don’t encourage long stays without anything to do …things might become too intense.

Tip #4: GET SOME SPACE:Take breaks and give yourself some time.It is not reasonable to expect to see your family all hours of every day.If the inlaws or your own family visits become too intense, spring for a hotel with a tactful explanation…costly but worth it.

Tip #5:ANTICIPATE THE HOTSPOTS: You all know your family and you know what triggers you.If your mother is critical, try not to be reactive (yes its really hard!) and manage the conversation as best you can,tolerating the discomfort rather than reacting to it.Engage your partner’s help by telling them what you need.

Good luck! Happy holidays and all the very best for the New Year.

Charmaine.