• Be patient: Moving a group of people from Point A to Point B takes more time. And when grandchildren and babies come along, nap times and adult down time should be factored in. Every minute does not need to be packed with activity. Plan some "white space" into your schedule so it really is a vacation or a restful, rejuvenating time.

  • Be gracious: Try not to push your agenda on your kids or extended family. People love choices. Try to have options people can select from or even decide not to do. Remember to reach out to the older members of your family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Ask your adult kids to be a part of giving honor and care to those who are older in the family. Remember you are modeling how you hope they treat YOU when you are 90! We have found the best way to recruit help with care for the elders in our family is to compliment our young adults, "Your grandmother so loved last year when you took the time to listen to her story from World War II. She is still talking about what an amazing, kind, thoughtful young man you have become." People of all generations appreciate being needed and valued.

  • Be wise: You might need to have some candid conversations with adult kids who are making choices that might not be wise for their futures (relationships, lifestyle choices, grades, etc). Seek to earn a hearing by extending an attitude of love, care, and affirming words. Try to set an appointment so that issues do not suddenly appear at the dinner table or while opening gifts. Be pro-active and simply set aside an hour or two for each adult child you need to dialogue with so that important conversations are not interrupted and emotions can be handled with care (a few resources for managing those harder discussions are Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke and Boundaries Face to Face by Henry Cloud and John Townsend).

  • Be forgiving: Jesus came so that grace might be extended to all of humankind. Use the holidays to forgive and extend words of mercy, grace and a fresh start to someone who might have hurt you. In our book, Love, Honor and Forgive, we outline "Six Steps to Forgiveness." If you need some tools to tackle that less-than-loving- "Extra Grace Required" person, begin with a prayer of forgiveness. This will keep your heart in the right place -- a place that could potentially lead to reconciliation or their redemption.

  • Bill and Pam Farrel are international speakers, relationship experts and authors of over 30 books, including best-selling Men are Like Waffles, Women Are like Spaghetti. Visit their website at www.Love-Wise.com.

     

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