The holidays seem to involve more drama than usual for stepfamilies. In my last post, I shared some of our family’s drama this Christmas and gave a few suggestions on how to cope with it. Today, I offer a few more ideas:
1. Stay out of the middle, when possible. If the drama occurring is between children, allow them to work it out. Our children need to learn how to manage conflict at home with other family members. If it becomes physically or emotionally hurtful, it’s time to get involved. If the drama is between your spouse and an ex, let him/her deal with it. If the drama is between you and your spouse or an ex-spouse, you must confront it.
2. Resolve to take the high road every time. Be the more mature party. Someone has to be the adult during tumultuous periods – it allows for inner peace when we know we’re doing the right thing.
3. Commit to pray for your family relationships and exercise patience as they develop. Stepfamily authorities say it takes seven years for a stepfamily to blend. We had more drama than I want to remember during the early years of our marriage but I’m thankful today that we persevered and have stable, loving relationships with one another (even though drama still shows up every now and then).
3. Ask for help when necessary. If conflict begins to occur more frequently without resolve, it could be time to seek professional help. Find a counselor that is familiar with stepfamily dynamics. Or check out my coaching opportunities here. Don’t allow unresolved conflict or ongoing drama to destroy your relationships.
Have you successfully dealt with drama this holiday season? Do you have other suggestions to offer?