Dear Ilana and Jess: I have two young adult children: One is 22 and the other is 24. Both are considering having Thanksgiving with their significant others’ families. This would be the first year apart for us. How do we navigate this? — Ray
Dear Ray: Your family is approaching a major developmental milestone and it’s certainly bittersweet. As hard as it may be to let the “kids” go, so-to-speak, keep in mind that they’re doing what you’ve prepared them to: launch their own lives. Just as your family has established traditions through the years, your adult children are starting their own.
In order to be a part of the conversation about the holidays, you might want to start it. In the process, encourage your kids to enjoy this new chapter while honoring their commitment to your own family. Discuss how the holidays will be divided between families and be sure to keep an open mind. Flexibility goes a long way, here. For example, let’s say your family does a Christmas tree hunt the day after Thanksgiving. The kids may spend Thanksgiving with their significant others, then return to find a Christmas tree with you. Throughout the conversation, make sure you’re not placing unwavering demands. Share your expectations, while allowing the kids to create their own.
Say This: “We’re happy you’re happy and we want to make this as smooth as possible. Let’s talk about how we’re going to divide the holidays between families. We’ll tell you what our hopes are and we’d like to hear yours.”
Not That: “I can’t believe you’re not going to spend Thanksgiving with your family.”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
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