Friday, December 5, 2008

Give Me Some Peace... Help ....Fast,

Help! It's the holidays. Peace on earth? You've got to be kidding...with my family? No, that's not my story, but I hear it often.

I have shared with you that my home I was reared in was dysfunctional. You've heard the saying there is FUN in the middle of dysFUNctional. Well, humor is one way people process their pain in family get togethers. Counsellors work with their clients to shore them up to handle possible conflicts that could pop up when all the family shows up.

Here is one project Dr. Martha Beck recommends to her clients:

A way to weather stressful family events is by using a technique called Dysfunctional Family Bingo. Before the holidays, get together with friends and fill the squares of a bingo card with dysfunctional phrases or actions that are likely to surface when you see your family. If you dread hearing the "So, when are you having kids?" question, then that goes in one square of your card. The first person to fill out their card sneaks off to call the other players and wins lunch, coffee, or whatever prize you all have agreed on.

Dr. Leonard Felder, the author of When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People, advises that you enlist a friend or loved one to be your support person at family events. "Rehearse ahead of time with this person what you will need if you get into a pickle with your family," Felder says. "Do you want your support person to remain silent or speak up to defend you? Would you like them to look you in the eye and communicate non verbally that you are a worthwhile person when things get tense?"Newman also suggests you plan in advance to limit your time at gatherings if possible. "Just be sure your host knows beforehand by telling them something like, 'I can only stay two hours because I have another event to get to.'"

So peace on earth for some families is possible almost any time of the year but the holidays. Innocently you can upset someone with the best of intentions. I recall hosting our daughter's kindergarten class for the Christmas party. I worked around a theme of snowmen. I made a papermache snowman. A few weeks ahead I papermached a regular balloon, but just as I had soggy paste filled paper strips over the balloon it popped and blew that mess to adhere to my entire kitchen. What a mess! But this was for my precious daughter. I finally finished the snowman pinata with heavy duty balloons. I placed the candies and treats inside, attached a strong cord and away we sped to the festive party. All went well and the kids were loving trying to break open the snowman to get to the goodies. But I realized my daughter was at her desk with her face down. When I asked what was wrong she held up a tear stained face with, "They're killing the little snowman....and I love him!!! What a lasting memory, eh?

On fun Friday I want to move you from chuckles to the profound business of peace within the family.

What do you see as the difference in these two words:

  1. Peacemaker
  2. Peacekeeper

This post is reader/comment driven. I truly look forward to your comments. Following a major family gathering holiday I just know you will be ripe with thoughts on this one.


Dorothy Champagne said...

What a fun idea - it certainly would give light to things that cause families to be dysfunctional.

1. Peacemaker - One who encourages, supports, loves at all times.

2. Peacekeeper - One who jumps in during the struggle and tries to add a calming solution.

I'm not Webster, but that's what I got! :)

Chatty Kelly said...

Another great one! I actually implemented this type of thing before. My husband was my support person and even told a "white lie" to protect me. I blogged about it here:

These are all great ideas, and I'm going to do the bingo with my sisters this Christmas! Thanks for helping us get a chuckle out of a tough time!

Chatty Kelly said...

by the way the word fun is also in FUNeral, but there is no fun there either. LOL.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Kay you are such an encourager! I can learn much from you! I'm afraid that in years past I may have been one of those people who said the wrong thing at the wrong time to people but in my Old Age I have been trying to be more careful about what I say.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!


Joyfulsister said...

Hmmm You got me pondering again!! But that is what I love about coming to your blog sweet sistah!!. I know I was raised in one as well, I also know what it's like hiding behind the laughter and jokes, when deep inside I was crying, and so sad inside. I thank the Lord I have not allowed the so called generation curse to continue on. No I'm not perfect and I do still have some old habits that surface now and then, but how I handle it today teaches my children that with God all things are possible!!

Hugz Lorie

sailorcross said...

Hi Kay!!

I'm a little late in catching up with you--but here I am!!

Peacekeeper--One who tries to maintain peace at all times.

Peacemaker--One who tries to resolve situations and "make the peace".

Being raised in dysfunction is no fun regardless of the word "fun" being in the middle of it!!

But, I try--try so hard to maintain the peace. Actually, it will be easier this year--even though it is because of a sad note. My family has decided to ostracize me from them due to my beliefs in the our Lord.

So, this year the holidays (so far--you never know--a miracle could happen!) have been my children and I--much more peaceable.


© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.