Bonus: How to Handle Disagreements at This Year’s Holiday Gatherings

If this is what you're worried about at holiday gatherings this year, you're not alone.
If this is what you’re worried about at holiday gatherings this year, you’re not alone.

Welcome! To listen to today’s show, scroll on down to the bottom of this post and click the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

I’m cranking up the mic for two reasons today:

1) listening back to episode 123, where Ninja Parenting Community member Sabrina shared her concerns about holiday overwhelm and helping her girls handle gift-giving, I wanted to create something to help you if you’re facing those same problems…

So, I did! Download the FREE 3 Principles of Kids and Gifts if you want help:
– cutting through the gift giving insanity and overwhelm
– finding solutions that work for your whole family – including you.
– Truly enjoying celebrations, with less stress

Click this link to download them today and make the most of the season!

2) an article I read in the paper today, two Saturdays before Christmas eve, really got me thinking about a problem unique to the family gatherings we will all be attending this year. The article reads in part:
“But some non-Trump voters are not yet in a place where they can joke.
That includes [a Dad who shall remain nameless, because he represents a great many people listening today] and his family. This year they will not go to his wife’s great aunt’s Christmas gathering, in large part for fear of an argument breaking out in front of their 6-year-old daughter.
“She doesn’t understand why people like this person, said [this Dad], referring to Trump, “and to explain to her that people in her own family like this person – it would be a lot for her to process.”
– “Can The Holidays Be Happy?” The Boston Globe, Saturday, December 10th, 2016

In the wake of that article, I’m wondering: how are you?

Are you worrying about attending family gatherings this year, when it all feels so contentious?

I really hope this episode helps you, if that’s the case. Click here to get the full show notes and key links!

Here are several points to ponder as you make your decision about going to these gatherings, or bringing your kids:

– first of all, there may not even be any arguments.
I’m a worrier myself, and I’ve worked hard to surmount the idea of worrying about something that has a not even happened yet.
Today I’m asking you to do the same – don’t avoid holiday parties due to a fear of arguments breaking out.
Instead, handle them as they happen, because they may not even happen!

– if there are arguments:
1) Model respectful disagreement for your son or daughter.
Walk away from someone who’s pushing you toward an argument, do not engage. And while you’re not engaging, continue to treat that person respectfully.

2) Know that your child need not be involved in the argument.
Please shelter kids from adult concerns; they do not need to know the political affiliations of all your relatives.

3) Put yourself into the shoes of your disagreeing relatives.
Ask yourself: why might they feel that way? What fears do they have that they go to bed with every night that cause them to vote in such an opposite way from you?

If their views are truly anathema to you – you’re a firm believer in sparkly holiday sweaters while they favor Aran cable-knit fisherman’s sweaters, and no amount of persuasive discussion will change that crazyballs idea – feel free to avoid them (while treating them with respect!)

But more likely, it’s not that cut-and-dried.

More likely, they go to bed with the same worries and fears for their kids and our world as you do.

If you feel like that’s the case, in my experience that makes you a little less far apart on whatever spectrum you’re considering, political or religious, organic versus not organic, paleo versus vegetarian, decaf versus hi-test.

I always end up realizing, when I try to view the world through someone else’s shoes, that we are closer than I originally thought.

I hope you feel the same, and that this episode helps you stress a little bit less over the holidays!

Key Links:
Here is the Boston Globe article that started me thinking about extra stresses on families during this particular holiday season.

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your parenting?
Check out the Ninja Parenting Community, for expert advice about how to handle anything your kids throw at you!
We’ve got training courses – like the Sanity With Kids course, about staying sane even while raising kids – exclusive members-only calls, vibrant forums, and lots of ways to feel better.
Click here to check out the community, I hope to see you in the forums!