To commemorate the first national holiday since the launch of the ParentTalk podcast, we thought we’d examine some common issues that extend across all holidays spent with family and loved ones.

Holidays mark a time of change for families, be it by way of traveling, or opening our own homes to those we love.  Cooking, cleaning, and coordinating are all a part of the holiday fun.  But while the chaos is most often a welcome part of our lives, and the lives of our children, it can play havoc with the expectations, stability, and routines parents work so tirelessly to maintain.

In this episode, Arthur and Susan offer guidance on how to manage expectations during holiday events, navigate the social complexities that come with seeing family and friends after a long absence, and accept the disruption of normal rules and routines that so often accompanies the holiday hustle.

“When I think about Thanksgiving get-togethers, or any other family holidays for that matter, you’re putting a bunch of very strong personalities together in one room, who aren’t used to being together all day long. It takes a little while for people to get a feel for each other. Now, imagine a two-year-old walking into a room of forty adults. The first thing they’re going to is what I’m going to do, which is to read the room. But I’ve been reading the room a lot longer than a two-year-old, and I know how to make myself comfortable. A two-year-old isn’t even sure yet what it means to be comfortable with anybody who isn’t their mom or dad or siblings.”

– Arthur Lavin

Episode Highlights:

– Reintroducing extended family to children with stranger anxiety.

– Preparing children for seeing unfamiliar family members again.

– Preparing family members for seeing your child after a long time away.

– Creating physical boundaries on behalf of your child.

– Tricks for breaking the ice between your child and family members.

– Balancing holiday commitments with your child’s schedules and routines.