Christmas and Conflict II

Christmas and Conflict II

There are awful things about conflict during the holidays, but there are many potential benefits, if you can take advantage of the season. Both parents can have fun with the kids during break, instead of one parent being the school parent and the other being the “Disney” parent.

But what can be great for Christmas with two families is that the kids get showered with attention from both sides. It is not at all unusual for children of divorce to have two or even three Christmases. Also, if parents are apart, when the children are with a parent, that parent can be focused on the kids. When the kids are with the other parent, it is much easier to hide presents and prepare for Christmas without interruption. If parents are able to anticipate friction points early, elegant and fun solutions can be enjoyed by all. For example, parents could agree to take the children shopping for the other parent. kids and one parent can make cookies for the other parent with the favor being returned. the kids, of course, get to have tasty treats in both houses. And some of that holiday cheer might spill over into parenting cooperation the rest of the year!

Churches, too, can benefit from deposits into the “friendship” bank account. Singing Christmas carols together can synchronize hearts but did you know that people who sing together have similar breathing and heartbeat patterns? Sometimes having fun with someone you’re annoyed with can in the long run be the best contribution to conflict solutions! Happy Holidays!

Christmas and Conflict

Christmas is a season of joy and fun for families and churches. Most people try desperately to get along when they have a conflict around Christmas, but it often bubbles up in unfortunate ways. Christmas time is a time of family values, and “we always do it this way.” When couples are separated or divorced, there is often a tug of war with the kids at Christmas. They’re not fighting just on their behalf, they fight because they don’t want to displease Mom or Grandma with a kidless Christmas. If you can’t decide together, having a Parenting Consultant to make the decision of where the kids spend Christmas can save a lot of grief and pain. Old conflicts can be reborn at Christmas along with Jesus if family members aren’t careful.

Churches can be just as tricky. One church I knew had a battle over who got to be baby Jesus. Tradition had it that it was the youngest member of the church. But the youngest baby in the church that year was a child born to regular attenders but they were not members. It looked to be a major battle  for the family who didn’t get to have Baby Jesus until the non-member stepped aside. Christmas conflict require an extra measure of Christmas grace