How do you handle family drama at the holidays (and keep it
from impacting the kids)?
We posed that question to our Parent Panel, and here's what 13
of them had to say. What would you do? Comment below!
See more from
the Parent Panel and meet the parents!
Prepare yourself mentally for the event prior to going. This
way, you know that if drama does indeed occur, you only have so
much time before you can leave the party, go home, and hit your
pillow a thousand times while screaming at the top of your lungs!
Ahhhh......until next year!
Kerry Quirin, Downers
The holidays can be stressful for all. It's important to make
GOOD memories for your children that they then will carry for a
lifetime. When the stress becomes too much, it's best to take a
step back, take a deep breath and find your center. If that does
not work, try the eggnog.
Ryan Salzwedel, Chicago
It depends on how much drama there is. If it's minimal, just go
with it. For more intensely stressful situations, be prepared to
leave, or make other plans. Kids deserve their holidays to be
magical, and we can keep them away from tension and drama if we
choose to do so.
Anne Rezabek, Elgin
In traditional Asian cultures, parents shield their children
from everything, and as kids, my siblings and I were always left
trying to piece together the truth. I hope to be more forthcoming
with my kids when they are old enough to understand.
I would explain that every family has a story with good and bad
parts. I try to be a good example and explain that some people mean
well, but might not be as easy to get along with as others.
Rebecca Moulfarha, La Grange
Presents always serve as a pleasant distraction for any kid, any
age. If you know holidays could get ugly, maybe it's time to spring
for that Play Station 3.
Jeff Mezydlo, Chicago
In many ways, you can't. It's part of life and part of growing
up. If you have extreme circumstances, prepare your children
beforehand. The calmer you remain, the more settled and comfortable
your children will be.
Lisa Cheruff, Skokie
My suggestions are, as required, (1) stay in a hotel, (2) have
your own transportation, (3) act the way people think you should
and (4) bring outdoor and indoor activities for the kids to take a
break from the adults. Save conflict resolution for another
Make sure your focus is on your children and shielding them as
much as possible-which means you may not go to everyone's home, or
sometimes you won't even answer the phone! And certainly don't
INVITE drama into yours!
Rani Morrison, Oak
I'm preparing myself to handle family drama during the holidays
by having a set start time to gather, an estimated end time to go
home-everything else that happens in between, to grin and bear it.
When it comes to impacting the kids, I'll try to remove and
Mona Shah, Glenview
The holidays should be a time of celebration and being with
family and friends. Anything that is said or done to create drama
should be done away from the children. The holidays are a time to
put differences aside and enjoy being together.
Jackie Sergeant, Richton
I don't let it affect me, so the drama doesn't affect the
children. I don't make the drama a big deal.
Diane Oliver, Chicago
Try to keep them as occupied as possible with the holiday. At
home, I try to explain things to them because life is drama and
they need to know how to handle it.
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