The one commonality we all claim to share during the holidays is the dysfunctional family unit. I have yet to meet one person, just one who says, “my family is perfect. Everyone gets along splendidly and we never fight.” So I’ll just assume those families don’t exist. For the rest of us, we need survival tips! We need to brawl less, enjoy more, and avoid being thrown in jail – ah, c’mon you have to know with holidays come an uptick in arrests.
Well then, here are some helpful hints to survive the dysfunctional family holiday:
1. For the dysfunctional divided family: Are you the kid shuffling between parents on Christmas Eve and Christmas, or the ex-wife hosting your ex-husband and his twenty-something year old bride, just so you can have holiday dinner with kids? Either way the divided family has to be vigilant of whatever court orders are in place.
Whether it’s custody arrangements, parenting plans, visitation rights – don’t violate any of the above! Pick kids up on time, let them spend the holiday with the designated parent and if it’s just a separation, don’t introduce children to your new gal pal or beau. No need to give the other side ammo as a stocking stuffer.
2. For the dysfunctional drinking family: Can you take a wild guess on what this tip is??? Of course the holidays are easier to handle with a few glasses of vino in us, but alcohol reduces our inhibitions, which simultaneously seems to open our mouths wider. It does. Watch your booze. Drink water. Do not overdo it even if Cousin Claude is doing shots of Candy Cane Schnapps.
Because if just one person says the wrong thing, a fight can ensue. If that verbal sparring turns physical, well…you may be spending the night in lockup, instead of waiting for Santa. And let this tip carry you through to the New Year. It is widely reported that the entire holiday season sees an increase in drinking and driving arrests, as well as accidents.
3. For the dysfunctional football family: Is your family one of those that plays football in the yard before dinner is served, or during half-time of the game? Sounds like good clean fun – until someone gets tackled, that is. Playing sport with relatives that repulse you is a license for injury. If there is animosity with in-laws, or competitive cousins, football may not be the game plan (maybe try Monopoly? Or Checkers?). Sure, your Uncle Joe probably won’t have you arrested for the broken collar bone, but imagine what next year’s holidays will be like.
Keep it safe, be calm and enjoy your dysfunctional family this holiday season!
Our firm employs highly skilled family law attorneys who can assist you on a variety of issues before, after, and during the holiday. We are New Mexico’s favorite family law firm. So just call Lightning Legal Group today at 505-247-2390 for a free consultation.