Parent Panel: Preparing for the holidays

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 Grove

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.

Jiye Lee, Chicago

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 Park

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 day.

Kate Atkins-Trimnell, Homewood

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 Park

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 distract them.

Mona Shah, Glenview

Jackie Sargeant

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 Park

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.

Tracie Guzolek, Chicago

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