“In difficult relationships, you can’t control the other person. Often, if you make a change, the relationship will change. The first step is to manage yourself.”– Sarah Rosensweet 

Does your mother-in-law think you’re not hard enough on your kids and tries to make up for it by yelling at them? They’re just being kids! And, frankly, you’ve got this.

Maybe your dad has always been critical of you and you just can’t stand it when he’s now critical of your partner and your kids. You feel yourself getting more and more upset.

This can feel even more challenging during a special event or the holiday season. Not only are you dealing with the stress of getting everything done, and your child’s big emotions- you have to navigate the complicated relationships in your extended family. 

You can only control yourself. Most of the time we are trying to change a situation by trying to change the other person!. (It never works!) But if you make a change, the relationship will change.

The most important step is to learn to not act when you are upset.

You WILL get upset; it’s your job to manage your feelings. How do you do this? STOP-DROP-and-BREATHE.

Stop what you’re doing (snappy retort, raised voice?)

Drop your agenda. You don’t have to solve things right this minute.

Breathe. You need to calm yourself. It will FEEL like an emergency because you’ve been hijacked by your body’s fight-flight-freeze response. Take a few deep breaths or take a break if you need more time to shift your energy. Laugh, cry, meditate, talk to a friend.

(If this is particularly hard for you, check out my How To Stop Yelling At Your Kids course. It works for in-laws and extended family also!)

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