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Too much visiting!

As a grandmother, I would tell you, there is no such thing as too much visiting. I love seeing my grandchildren (and my children)!

As a child, I believe there could be too much visiting. As a parent, there could definitely be too much visiting.

What in the world am I talking about? Let’s take a closer look…

When couples become parents there is often “pressure” from the families to come to their house for the holidays. Everyone wants to see the baby. If the families are in close proximity, the parents do their best to fulfill the desire of their parents. Of course, this can be a little stressful trying to get to two (or three or four – if divorce has been part of the equation and new families have formed) different homes to celebrate.

As the children become toddlers, the demand to be at each family home usually continues. I mean, the kids are so darn cute, and the joy of watching them open gifts is contagious. However, the parents are wanting to have Christmas at their own house, as well as at the homes of other family members. The stress on the parent’s is building.

At some point, the children like to be at their house for Christmas, to play with their new stuff. I mean, who wants to open new toys and then leave them to go to someone else’s house? The stress to make everyone happy can just pile up on the parents.

Now, this is not how ALL families operate, but I know plenty that do. They have their “routine” and as the family grows, the routine is expected to stay the same.

Might I suggest some new ideas? How about…
• taking turns on the holidays? Go to one house on Thanksgiving, another on Christmas, another on Easter.
• the grandparents go to their children’s house?
• celebrating on a day other than the actual holiday? Perhaps the weekend before, or after.
• an annual massive family reunion – during a better weather season?

The point is to reduce stress during what is often considered the most stressful time of the year.
The holidays are meant to be a time of joy.

If you find that your adult children are stressing about how to keep their parents happy… give them a break.
Talk about starting a new tradition… one that everyone can look forward to.

*Pam Horton is a Certified Stress Management Coach.*

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