You love your in-laws! Just admit it! It's that time of year again when the in-laws arrive, the uncles and aunts come by and the rest of the distant family members shows up to take over your house! Ah, Christmas!
If you are like many families, distant relatives and in-laws pose a challenging obstacle for you. Will mom be critical of the house? Will dad drink too much? Will Uncle Jim flirt with our son's girlfriend? The things that bonds family together!
To try to make the most of this upcoming holiday season, it is important that you and your partner talk about possible issues. Listen to each others concerns. Don't judge them, even if it's totallly absurd. Listen, ask questions, repeat back.
Second, agree on the issues. List them out. Cross out the ones that you will have no control over.
And third come up with an action plan. What WILL you say when mom complains about the colors of the walls? Or that the TV is just way too big for your kids? Or if she complains about how you are letting your daughter wear totally inappropriate clothes. What will you say? What wil your partner say? Talk about it. Role play even. And agree on a strategy.
And if Uncle Jim flirts with your son's girlfriend, which one of you will kick him out of the house? :)
Start talking today. You have a couple of weeks to figure this whole family-coming-over-for-dinner-but-will-likely-end-in-a-fight out. Talk, listen, and plan.
Have fun & good luck!