This Thursday, will you be basking in the joys of your harmonious family, or will uncle Charlie spilling the red wine on your new white carpet make you want to blow your top?
For many, the holidays, especially the holiday feast with family, can be sometimes a blessing, and sometimes a curse.
Hal Runkel, LMFT, is America's premier relationship expert and the best-selling author of ScreamFree Parenting, the National Bestseller that is creating a calming revolution in families everywhere.
Runkel offers some valuable tips to help families enjoy this time of holiday cheer. Families who long for a Norman Rockwell type of gathering (but fear the likes of Norman Bates), can create a ScreamFree Holiday Meal by considering:
1. Who, exactly are we preparing this grand meal for?
Put the popular reasons aside and get to the heart of the reason for this feast. Is it for your relatives, for your immediate family or for yourself? A clear perspective will enable you to have more control over your actions and reactions.
2. What if we fight? What if the cake collapses?
In life, unforeseen circumstances happen. We can learn to accept - and anticipate - some setbacks and prepare for how we will conduct ourselves should they occur.
3. Can you really "control" how everyone feels, or the good time (or the bad time) that they have?
When you take this off the table as an objective, you can free up the occasion to be truly warm and relaxing time, for yourself.
"The key to a ScreamFree holiday season is to understand that the one person that you can absolutely control is yourself. Not Uncle Charlie, not Grandma, not cousin Jimmy, not even your spouse or your kids," said Hal Runkel, LMFT.
"Becoming ScreamFree is about taking the reins of your emotions and responses, and not letting others or the situation influence you. Only by focusing on yourself can you truly become more thoughtful of and selfless toward others."
For more information on having a ScreamFree Thanksgiving, visit www.screamfreethanksgiving.com and request the free eBook "A ScreamFree Thanksgiving."
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