Stepfamily Holiday Survival Tip #9:
Wear thicker skin over the holidays. As the inevitable pressures build, be prepared to be an example of patience and lovingkindness.
Be careful that you don’t lose control of yourself and damage relationships you have to maintain throughout the rest of the year. Someone has to be the adult, it might as well be you. And don’t be a martyr about it, telling everyone how tough it is, just do it with a smile. Even if no one else appreciates your strength, you can feel proud of yourself on January 4th!
Understand that, when your kids return from their holiday visits, they will probably be wearing an attitude. They usually do after a trip to “that other house,” don’t they? Have you figured out why yet?
More than likely, it’s because they’ve had a not–so–great time. They were away from home, in a strange place, among strangers with strange customs. They missed you, and that made them feel guilty for not loving their Dad more. Possibly they were left out of activities and treated like street urchins brought in out of charity.
Do you see why it’s so important to put forth the effort to make the kids who come visit you feel welcome?
On the other hand, the kids who do come visit you may very well be less than gracious about your efforts to include them and make them feel comfortable. Never mind. It’s not really important how well someone receives a gift from you. It’s how you give the gift that matters. The visiting kids may have been “prepped” by their mom or dad to expect you to be a monster, so they are putting up the best defense — a good offense.
Well, you just prove to them what kind of a person you really are! And you will, good or bad.
[NOTE: this is an excerpt from our guide book, Beat the Holiday Blues.]
You are NOT alone! We love you and we can help.
God bless your whole, wonderful family,
STEPcoach Bob Collins