It’s one of the few times that you finally have the whole family together for a week. You have been looking forward to enjoying each other’s company. So, “Why,” you wonder, “do you feel like you could just scream?”
I heard a woman in the grocery store say to a friend “Well, I am just waiting for something to happen. Last year by this time we had already been to the emergency room a few times. You know with all that testosterone at home I am used to expecting something to happen.”
Ho ho ho? Where’s the peace, love, and, joy??? Hopefully some of you are reading this and nodding your heads with relief. Yes, all that time together can be stressful!!! But, it doesn’t have to be!
So, what can you do? Well, first of all, take a deep breath! Ask yourself what relaxing means to you, and, do it! Do you look forward to curling up in front of the fireplace with a good book, or taking a midday nap? Go for it! Pick one thing to do that truly relaxes you. We know, for some of you even having to choose may be stressful and of course, what about the rest of the family? What are they going to do?
Here’s what we suggest:
Get everyone together for a quick family meeting. Give everyone an opportunity to express how they would like to spend the week.
Discuss when/where you will eat meals. If a movie is on the schedule but no agreement on the choice, there are several ways to compromise. You can, decide to see more than one movie during the week or, you can go to a multiplex that plays many movies at around the same time etc.
The point is this. By, coming together to lay out a schedule in advance you can avoid much of the stress. If planning is the last thing any of you want to do, then at least loosely plan out the week.
If the stress comes from sibling rivalry, then suggest positive solutions to deal with the agitation that can result. A healthy competition never hurt anyone!
If you feel yourself getting stressed, let it go. It ‘s not worth it.
In my family when everyone is bickering and stressed we pop popcorn. We sit down and watch a movie passing the bowl between us. For what it’s worth, I can assure you we keep Orville Redenbocker in business with all the popcorn we pop in that week alone!
What do you do to ensure that this family week is fun, not frantic?