Disclaimer: I fully understand there are dysfunctional families and this may not apply to these families, yet in general the vast majority of children grow up in a loving, though perhaps, difficult families. That said...
Later this week, many of us will get together with our families for Thanksgiving. For some, it may be a trying experience, especially after we have had a difficult election.
Some who are dissappointed in the election results are telling themselves and others not to go home for Thanksgiving or even Christmas. Quite sadly some parents are refusing to allow their children to see their grandparents because they voted for the other candidate. Some older parents are disowing their children if they voted for the opposition.
The elections are over.
Some are sad. Others are rejoicing.
But life will continue for better or worse.
On the other hand, Families are Forever
Family, no matter what, is the bond for a stable life.
Families must always come first. Tearfully, I know of two brothers, 3rd cousins, one brother I knew for most of my life; the other only for only a few years. Both lived in the same city. Both worked as store managers for the same national business. One had a store on the west side, and the other on the east side of the city. Both were successful and both had fine families. Both lived into their 80s. Yet, one of the brothers disowned the other when they were in their early 20s and for the rest of their lives, 60 years, they never spoke to each other. In fact, when the first brother passed away, the other was not invited to the funeral. Two beautiful brothers who could have been a part of each other's lives missed out because of one, perhaps insignificant, incident.
Don't let this happen to you. It is not worth it. Certainly, families may have differences—perhaps major differences from your perspective—yet is it really worth the misery that comes with unacceptance?
Some pointers to consider as we come together for Thanksgiving in the U.S., Christmas and other upcoming holiday celebrations.
Consider not to discuss politics, religion of other confrontational issues. Concentrate on the family and giving thanks for all our blessings.
Accept each other's differences. Don't immediately reject one's position on an issue without having some understanding of the other person's reasons for his/her reasonings.
Don't fill yourself with hateful thoughts; otherwise, you will never be able to find peace within yourself.
Concentrate on the commonalities and the good times you once had. You will recall plenty of good times—if you concentrate.
Parents, allow your children to see their grandparents (and other extended family members). Do you really want your children to miss out on knowing their extended family members? Do you really want to teach your children how not to accept differing opinions without accepting the person?
Parents, if there happens to be a beligerant member of the family during Thanksgiving or at another holiday celebration, simply sit down with you children and teach them a lesson, such as "There may be family members who may be rude and belligerent. This type of behavior is unacceptable, yet this is part of life. You don't have to accept one's behavior, yet you shouldn't reject a person without a thorough understanding of who he/she is."
Grandparents, simply love your grandchildren and enjoy their presence. You also do not want to teach them negativeness by example. You can show them the value of life without expressing your opposition to your own child.
Above all else, maintain civility—even if there is a family member(s) who is not being civil.
Do you have any suggestions on how to keep our families together?
Frank S. Adamo is a writer and blogger. He is also the founder of Embrace Our Heritage, an organization dedicated to reuniting families through family stories, modern technology, and support. Frank also assists others to create Living Legacies for their loved ones and their future generations. To download a free e-book, click How do Leave a Legacy. Click Subscribe to subscribe to Frank's newsletters/blogs.