Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock


Like most families, my family has had its ups and downs. During my teenage years my household had its turbulent moments. There were times when we spoke in anger and communicated poorly. There were times when we felt unheard and misunderstood.


As I’ve matured and reflected on the part that I had to play, I realize that my approach to my family has changed over the years. I’ve learnt assertiveness and developed the capacity to both say sorry and forgive quickly. I have tried to empathize and understand my parents as best I can. I’ve made a point of spending quality time with them and have expressed my love more.


But even the strongest of families can have difficulty over the holidays, when stress is high and tensions fraught. Visits from extended family and the desire to host ‘the perfect Christmas’ all serve to add pressure to an already stressful time of year.


I realize now that there were ten key behaviors I fostered to deepen my family bonds. Use these behaviors to ensure your family bonds remain strong over this holiday season, allowing you to navigate the holidays with grace and ease.