Before the election my colleague Stacey Schwenker posted an excellent blog on striving to thrive during the holidays. Since then we have seen stress levels skyrocket as folks are contemplating a Thanksgiving with family members polarized across the political divide. Whether you are facing one holiday meal or a few days of enforced family time, does thought of the upcoming Thanksgiving feel overwhelming or horrifying? If so, here are some ideas that might help you navigate this minefield.
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This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
Saturday Night Live’s sketch of Adele’s Hello song was the talk of the 2015 Thanksgiving season. The scene opens with a family sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal, with five adults and a child (a young girl who looks about 10 years old). Within a few moments different opinions are flying and the family is in heated argument. The little girl takes a deep breath, gets up, and turns on a cd player. Adele’s newest song, Hello, which had just been released a month prior, begins its melodious chords. The 5 adults straighten. Their faces turn gentle and soft. They begin to reach across the table and hold one another’s hand. “Hello from the other side…,” they sing along. After a few lines, the music fades. The adults compose themselves. Then, in an instant, they begin to squabble again. The girl goes back to the CD player. The ballad resumes. Faces soften and hands reach. It seems that the only way to connect the family is through this song. The sketch is aptly named, A Thanksgiving Miracle.
At this very moment people all over the country are frantically preparing meals, decorating, traveling, and tidying up before guests arrive for what is only the start of the holiday season. While the holidays bring families together along with many fond memories they can also mean changes in schedules, environment, and expectations. I oftentimes hear parents talk about how overwhelming this season can be. Most parents are juggling preparing for their family functions while attending increased social events, volunteering, and keeping up with their regularly scheduled routines.
Guest blogger Jennifer Kogan is a clinical social worker who provides counseling and support for parents and families in Northwest D.C.
The holidays can be a stressful time for any parent but what happens when each parent observes a different religion? This year, Chanukah and Christmas overlap thereby adding an extra challenge for interfaith parents. Is there a way to balance two religious traditions in one home? The answer is a resounding yes, if you take a thoughtful team approach to the holiday season. Below are some suggestions for celebrating the interfaith way: [Read more…]