Special Replay: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays! This is a special replay of a popular episode.

Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Holiday get togethers are memorable…but not always because of the fun.

Dreading those tough moments at holiday gatherings when someone makes everyone tense, irritated or embarrassed?  It’s not just you. There are obnoxious people everywhere. However, we don’t need to sacrifice our family’s health (mental or otherwise), to appease the folks who make life tense. Join Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Eagle (the Seeing Eye Puppy) for a comfortable chat about uncomfortable people.

When planning for that big get-together, but stressing because you know *Irritating Uncle George* is going to be there, here are some valuable questions to ask yourself:

What’s the goal of the gathering?

  • If it’s the goal to have a picture perfect event, we might need to downgrade that goal when there are difficult people in the mix. Better to be realistic and unsurprised than to simply wish he’d behave and be miserable. Listen to this episode on Realistic Expectations.
  • If the goal is to honor the traditions of the family, how can you discuss with each person ways to keep that tradition-honoring time pleasant?

What are the deal breakers for you and your family?

  • Ask your family members, what are their deal breakers? Those are the places you need to work together to come up with a creative, Christlike boundary or solution.

How flexible are your family members with their deal breakers and expectations?

  • Ask your family members what they can and are willing to adjust.

What are your internal Rules for the Universe?

We all have a set of Rules for the way the Universe should run. If we stubbornly try to cling to our Rules for the Universe, and the universe isn’t running by our rules, we will make ourselves sick.

Take for instance, Vicki’s Rule: *Everyone I care about should be okay all the time*. Unfortunately for Vicki, she can’t control that. She has to leave everyone’s okay-ness in God’s hands. (He going to run the universe the way He sees best, anyway- regardless of our Rules.)

What are YOUR Rules for the Universe? Some of our favorites are (and we must give up on):

  • Everyone I care about must be part of our traditions, so everyone must be present with me.
  • Everyone should behave like a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • Everyone should be upbeat and happy all through the holidays.

Difficult People Coming to Your Family Gatherings This Christmas? Tips for setting boundaries and adjusting expectations. Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 141.

What do we do when there is a difficult people present in our family, so will make the gathering difficult?

Ask yourself: Is it necessary for that person to attend if they are dangerous to the well-being and safety of the rest of the group? If the person is not a safe person, must they come? Think about that seriously. The idea that all people must be present at important holiday events is simply one of those internal Rules for the Universe.

Is it necessary for us to suck it up and say nothing difficult people or do we confront at that time of behavior?

  • For people with Predictable Obnoxious Behaviors (POBs).
    • Discuss those with the person ahead of time.
  • For people with Unpredictable Bad Behaviors (UBBs).
    • Gently pull that person aside and let them know the way things go at your house.

Remember your own stress points, ask yourself: Can I download/delegate any of them?

Stop and take a moment to read the following posts. You deserve it:

Remember to:

Gathering with folks is important at Christmas but we are healthier when we have addressed questions about the ways we’ll handle trouble-making people at the events.

Do your teens need to vent about those obnoxious folks? Give them a cathartic writing assignment: Holiday Family Narratives.

Enjoy this empowering chat with Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Seeing Eye Puppy, Eagle. And enjoy these posts:

Homeschool Writing Project: The Holidays are the Perfect Time to Write a Family Narrative!

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HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Holiday Stress – and What We Do About It! – MBFLP 271

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” the song says … and one of the busiest and most stressful, too! What can we do to maintain the spirit of celebration while the season’s demands pile on top of our already-full lives? What practical steps can we take to lighten the load and get the really important things done? As the homeschooling parents of eight kids, starting and running a business from home at the same time, trust us – we’ve been there. Join us in this special edition where we talk about the realities of homeschooling, home business, and the holidays!

Holidays are Opportunities

The Bible has some holidays which were commandments, at least to the Israelites. God gave the ceremonies of Passover and told the people that when they came to the promised land, “you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.” (Exodus 12:24) Why was that? “It shall be as a sign to you … and as a memorial …” (Exodus 13:9). There are questions and answers expected so the elders pass on their faith to the younger generations –

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you …” (Deuteronomy 32:7)

Even though we don’t have a Biblical commandment to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas, they are opportunities to connect our families — and ourselves — with the goodness of God in His provision for life now and life hereafter!

[For good measure, consider when the exiles returned to rebuild Jerusalem and celebrated the recovery of the Law. After a marathon reading of the Word of God, the governor Nehemiah told the people, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)]

The challenge to us is to be sure to focus on the message, and not be overwhelmed by the daily responsibilities and the seasonal additions!

(continued …)

Think About Priorities

Have you seen the illustration of loading rocks and gravel into a big container? The only way to maximize what fits is to load the biggest things first, then smaller ones to fill in the gaps. Your daily (weekly, monthly) plan is the same way – you need to consider the most important, top-priority matters first, and fit them into your schedule before the secondary things.

And in a season when you need to be sure your children and your family hear the good news of the Messiah’s birth and really think about God’s mercies and provision over the past year … maybe it’s not as critical to do every single worksheet in the curriculum every day. Sometimes you can bring holiday-related subjects into the schoolwork (baking and cooking is a great way to work on weights and measures and fractions; Charles Dickens and George MacDonald can provide reading materials; personalized greeting cards are good handwriting practice!)

Listen in for more thoughts and ideas that can make your holiday season less anxious and more joyful this year!

Hosting the Holidays

Hosting the Holidays

Hosting the Holidays – Episode 90

 

In this episode, we talk about some ideas and tips on how to host the holidays stress free!

 

Tips:

  1. Plan your menu

  2. Make a schedule

  3. Plan your table – create a table setting

  4. Don’t forget serving dishes

  5. Make a shopping list

  6. Prepart ahead – make and complete tasks ahead of time if you can.

  7. Keep to your schedule.

And breathe! Relax and Enjoy!

Holidays: Off the Shelf

Holidays: Off the Shelf

Holidays: Off the Shelf! – Episode 89

 

In this episode, we talk about some books for you and your family to enjoy this holiday season.

Books Mentioned on the Show

  • Dear America: Journey to the New World by Kathryn Lasky

  • Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schulz

  • Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac

  • Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf

  • Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims by Rush Limbaugh

  • Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  • Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

  • The Miracle of the First Poinsettia: A Mexican Christmas Story by Joanne Oppenheim

Relationships and Holiday Stress – MBFLP 239

 

The song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but for many families, it’s also the most stressful. How can you accomplish all you need to do during the holidays, without putting a strain on your family relationships? And how do you deal with visiting family members who may be bringing their own kind of stress into your celebration? Join us for this timely discussion heading into Thanksgiving!

Passages We Referenced

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness(Proverbs 31:26 NKJV)

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20 NKJV)

 

Florida Christmas Roadtrips

Florida Christmas Roadtrips

Florida Christmas Roadtrips

Episode 82

Florida Christmas Roadtrips. As you probably already know, we love Christmas around here! In this episode, Suzanne lists some new places to visit for Christmas this year. Well, they are new to us. If you haven’t been, or are looking for something new to do this year, make plans to visit some of the places we have discussed on this episode.

It’s sure to be a bright and merry Chrismas here in Florida!

 

Events mentioned on the show:

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Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

12 Stories of Christmas

12 Stories of Christmas

12 Stories of Christmas

Episode 81

12 Stories of Christmas. It’s our favorite time of year! We love Christmas time around here. In this episode, we talk about some of our favorite Christmas stories… both books and on the big screen.

Listen in for some great book and movie suggestions for your family this holiday season. Get ready to snuggle in for a good Christmas story this year.

If your Christmas library is looking bare, we have suggested some of the books you might want to add to your collection. These books also make really great gifts. It’s always nice to receive a good book that can become part of your family’s Christmas tradition.

Books mentioned on the show:

    • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    • ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
    • The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
    • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
    • How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
    • Letters From Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien
    • Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
    • The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
    • The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel
    • The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry – Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
    • Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble
    • A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

Hallmark Christmas Movie List

 

Find us on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter

Please visit www.fpea.com to learn more about who we are!

HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

This week on HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays!

HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People at Holiday Events. Plan for success in dealing with challenging friends and family members at Christmas get-togethers.

HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Dreading those tough moments at holiday gatherings when someone makes everyone tense, irritated or embarrassed?  It’s not just you. There are obnoxious people everywhere. However, we don’t need to sacrifice our family’s health (mental or otherwise), to appease the folks who make life tense. Join Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Eagle (the Seeing Eye Puppy) for a comfortable chat about uncomfortable people.

When planning for that big get-together, but stressing because you know *Irritating Uncle George* is going to be there, here are some valuable questions to ask yourself:

What’s the goal of the gathering?

  • If it’s the goal to have a picture perfect event, we might need to downgrade that goal when there are difficult people in the mix. Better to be realistic and unsurprised than to simply wish he’d behave and be miserable. Listen to this episode on Realistic Expectations.
  • If the goal is to honor the traditions of the family, how can you discuss with each person ways to keep that tradition-honoring time pleasant?

What are the deal breakers for you and your family?

  • Ask your family members, what are their deal breakers? Those are the places you need to work together to come up with a creative, Christlike boundary or solution.

How flexible are your family members with their deal breakers and expectations?

  • Ask your family members what they can and are willing to adjust.

What are your internal Rules for the Universe?

We all have a set of Rules for the way the Universe should run. If we stubbornly try to cling to our Rules for the Universe, and the universe isn’t running by our rules, we will make ourselves sick.

Take for instance, Vicki’s Rule: *Everyone I care about should be okay all the time*. Unfortunately for Vicki, she can’t control that. She has to leave everyone’s okay-ness in God’s hands. (He going to run the universe the way He sees best, anyway- regardless of our Rules.)

What are YOUR Rules for the Universe? Some of our favorites are (and we must give up on):

  • Everyone I care about must be part of our traditions, so everyone must be present with me.
  • Everyone should behave like a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • Everyone should be upbeat and happy all through the holidays.

Difficult People Coming to Your Family Gatherings This Christmas? Tips for setting boundaries and adjusting expectations. Homeschool Highschool Podcast Ep 141.

What do we do when there is a difficult people present in our family, so will make the gathering difficult?

Ask yourself: Is it necessary for that person to attend if they are dangerous to the well-being and safety of the rest of the group? If the person is not a safe person, must they come? Think about that seriously. The idea that all people must be present at important holiday events is simply one of those internal Rules for the Universe.

Is it necessary for us to suck it up and say nothing difficult people or do we confront at that time of behavior?

  • For people with Predictable Obnoxious Behaviors (POBs).
    • Discuss those with the person ahead of time.
  • For people with Unpredictable Bad Behaviors (UBBs).
    • Gently pull that person aside and let them know the way things go at your house.

Remember your own stress points, ask yourself: Can I download/delegate any of them?

Remember to:

Gathering with folks is important at Christmas but we are healthier when we have addressed questions about the ways we’ll handle trouble-making people at the events.

Do your teens need to vent about those obnoxious folks? Give them a cathartic writing assignment: Holiday Family Narratives.

Enjoy this empowering chat with Sabrina, Vicki, Kym and Seeing Eye Puppy, Eagle. And enjoy these posts:

Homeschool Writing Project: The Holidays are the Perfect Time to Write a Family Narrative!

 

HSHSP Ep 141: Handling Difficult People During the Holidays

Reclaim Thanksgiving

Reclaim ThanksgivingReclaim Thanksgiving

Podcast #61

Where did Thanksgiving go? Too often, Thanksgiving gets skipped right over. October 31st – Halloween – November 1st Christmas! Let’s reclaim Thanksgiving and learn about what makes this holiday so special. Take time to enjoy this holiday with your family. Reclaim some of your childhood family traditions. Create some new traditions with your children. Study the story of pilgrims and their journey to America. Don’t miss out on this special time to celebrate family and heritage.

Some Thanksgiving traditions:

Traditional foods.

Of course Thanksgiving today revolves largely around the Thanksgiving Day meal. Traditional foods include turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, lima beans, mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce. Many people serve pie for dessert at the end of the meal. Popular pie flavors are pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, and apple.

The Wishbone.
Some families include breaking the turkey’s wishbone as part of their celebration. The wishbone is found attached to the breast meat in the turkey’s chest. After the meat has been removed and the wishbone has had a chance to become dry and brittle, two people each take one end of the bone, make a wish, and pull. Whoever ends up with the larger part of the bone gets their wish!

After the Meal Traditions

TV – Macy’s Parade, Dog Show

Football, or other outdoor activities

Turkey Trot 5k

Games or puzzles

NAPS!!! Of course, a lot of people enjoy a Thanksgiving nap!

Newspaper sale ads – checking out the Black Friday Sales…

 

See great ideas for your Thanksgiving and Fall season on our Fall Pinterest Board here

Fall Recipe Board

You can see a little history of the beginnings and evolution of the American Thanksgiving holiday here

BOOKS TO READ:

Cranberry Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in the Woods

Milly and the Macy’s Parade

 

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Long Distances with Little Ones – MBFLP 216

Long Distances with Little Ones

The Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest time of year on America’s highways, and you may be driving long hours with little ones on board. How do you manage this so you all arrive at Grandma’s in good spirits? We hit the road in 2010 with seven children in the van and we’re crisscrossing the country for six months every year. This episode, we’ll share what we’ve learned about covering long distance with little ones!

You’re Not Alone

Last year, AAA estimated 51 million of us would be on the road for Thanksgiving. That’s like the whole population of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Minnesota on the highway at the same time! It’s hard to guess how many of those millions were riding in booster seats, but you can bet it was a bunch.

There are some practical ways to make this more manageable for everyone: 

Long Distances with Little Ones

Making It Work

    1. Remember kids are kids – you’ve got make allowance for them. When Jacob met his brother Esau on the way back to his home country, Esau urged him to come along – but Jacob reminded him, “the children are weak,” and told him to go ahead, “[and] I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock …, and the children, are able to endure.” (Genesis 33:12-14)
    2. Take it easy on the mileposts. The fact that Dad the Road Warrior can handle 700 miles a day may not be the best plan for Mom and the kids. We were much happier when we slowed down our itinerary.
    3. Be sure that kids who sleep all day will be alert and active when Mom and Dad are ready for bed! We’ve done a few trips overnight or in the wee hours, but it made the parents grumpy the next day – and no child needs that! It’s tempting to pile on the miles while the crew is napping, but you’ll all be happier if you get out and get some exercise during the day. Which leads to our discovery,
    4. We all need regular breaks. On doctor’s advice, we make a brief stop every couple of hours. You’re going to need gas and rest rooms eventually, why not just plan on it? Modern travel plazas aren’t like the seedy truck stops of old – we find they’re usually clean, well-lit, and have large rest rooms. Which reminds us,
    5. “Mandatory Bathroom Stops” make it efficient. We just require everybody to get out and use the rest room, even if they “don’t need to go.” (We found the teenager who insisted he didn’t need to get out was the one who would have an emergency thirty minutes down the road.)
    6. Don’t miss the field trips along the way. We’ve had some great stops at National Parks, state historical sites, or even just picnic areas with a view. Go ahead – you might learn something, and if nothing else, the kids can run around and use up some energy! (Keep a ball or Frisbee handy to encourage some activity). A little research beforehand can highlight neat stuff ahead.
    7. Do like the airlines – distract the passengers with changing activities. You can hand out a snack, then a little while later surprise them with some new crayons or a book, then sing or play a car game, then maybe start a DVD or pop in an audio book (we’ve got some suggestions below!) Older kids might be able to do some schoolwork along the way – but if it’s a short vacation, you might want to just take the days off from book work and let them learn what they can from the travel.

In the old days, an education wasn’t considered complete until the student had experienced some serious travel. Now, it’s so much easier to get around, we tend to rush through it and miss the good stuff along the way. Slow down a bit, let the kids out of their car seats some, and enjoy the journey together!

 



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