When Nicole decided to become her authentic self, I was startled and unsure -- but time, education and counseling have made our parent/child relationship stronger than ever. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our extended family.
Despite the skepticism from the 'real' adults in the family, after watching the 'End of the World' documentary, we made a family pact. Wherever we were, whatever we were doing, whatever our plans, on 12/21/12 we would be together in a place that meant something to all of us.
While this is a time for reconnecting and sharing special moments, it's also a time when issues related to aging and health come to the forefront as family members recognize a change in the wellness and safety of their loved ones.
Thinking about why marriage equality matters leads to thoughts about why it's so important to be "normal." Yes, the cases before the Supreme Court are about equal rights under the law, about claiming the same rights as our heterosexual cohorts, but there's something about being normal.
As exciting as the holidays are, there's no denying that joy and laughter are not the only things the season brings. Following are a few holiday traps I'd like to bring to the table, in hope that people will be able to identify and avoid them early on.
Just like abstaining from carbs will trim your waist in two weeks, trimming three from your family relationships will decrease your load of "dirty laundry" in the same amount of time. Keep it up between now and New Year's Day, and you'll coast through the holidays like Santa on a sleigh.
Causes of vacancy come in endless iterations and are particularly poignant during the holidays. You may be left staring death in the face. Or, perhaps your loss involves a loved one that lives far away and finances are insufficient to bring them to your door.
One potential solution to transforming the holidays from stressful to joyful is the application of identified communication skills that have been researched and shown to facilitate changing difficult relationships.
A mom and her 17-year-old son hugged and couldn't let go. Tears were streaming down both their faces. They had been estranged from each other the past two years and came to see me because they wanted to reconnect.
Let's face it, there are times when holiday gatherings are not fun and joyous but remind you of how dysfunctional your family actually is. If you find yourself thinking... "Am I the only one who feels like there is something seriously wrong with these folks?" then try these tips.
Although holiday time means presents and no school for most American kids, it can also be a stressful time -- particularly in families facing financial challenges, in split or blended families, and in families where a loved one has recently passed away.
I admit that Halloween is kind of a strange holiday. Go out on the street at night; talk to strangers; accept candy (or anything!) from strangers; eat candy...and lots of it. But Halloween is one of the joys of childhood because of all that.
Research has shown that the holidays are the richest opportunities we have for performing family rituals. These family experiences are master keys to making our families, our children and ourselves more resilient.