Tips on How to Heal a Broken Family for a Happier Christmas
by Todd Griffin
Christmas time is a time of celebration, fun, and a time when families come together. Unfortunately, not all families are as close as others which can make Christmas not as enjoyable as you would like it to be. If your family is broken, but you would like to try and heal it for a happy Christmas, then this expert guide will give you the top tips on how to heal a broken family for a much more enjoyable and happy Christmas. Let’s take a look at these tips for making a family Christmas whole again.
Forgiveness is powerful. Forgiving your family members for what they’ve done in the past, even if they don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong, will help you all to move past the past, and work on a happier future. Forgiving doesn’t mean you need to forget the whole thing has happened, it means that you are a stronger person for accepting that a family member isn’t perfect and that you accept them for who they are. Forgiveness is the first key in making your next family Christmas a more enjoyable one.
After a large family argument or disagreement, it’s a good idea to try and reconcile with your family members. The best way to try and reconcile is by opening up lines of communication again. When talking about healing the family again, it’s important to not look at the past. Instead tell your family member you want to start fresh. Forget about what happened many years ago and try to start over again.
When reconciling it’s important to not bring up the past, instead work on the future. If your family members start to bring up the past, try to move on by telling them that “it’s all in the past, let’s not worry about that anymore and look at enjoying a new future together”. If they continually bring up the past, it may be best to be direct, but diplomatic. You could say something like:
“I don’t feel comfortable talking about what happened between us. Could we please let it go and move on? I’d really like to make a fresh start and forget about why we have be distant for a long time.”
3. Heal Yourself
A family breakdown is hard for everyone involved. You’ll find that you’ll have been emotionally vulnerable through the break-up period. When healing a broken family, you first need to heal yourself. The process of healing yourself is accepting what happened, ways you contributed to the situation, and how you plan on working towards a solution. If you find it difficult to heal an emotional wound, it may be best to speak with a professional who understands family dynamics. They may be able to help you overcome your emotional pain so you can feel at peace and whole again in your life.
4. Apply Love To Your Actions
Depending on the situation as to why you have parted in the first place, it’s important to help the healing process work by applying love to your actions. At first this can be hard, especially if you feel anger towards a certain family member. However, if you can approach this family member in a different way and demonstrate compassion and love towards them, you will be able to begin to heal the open emotional wound. It’s important to remember that the recipient family member may be taken back by your actions, especially if they’re used to hostility, but if you continue to show that you are willing to work it out with them, eventually they may change and start to show more love and compassion back to you.
As you can see above, there’s a few key elements when it comes to healing a broken family. If you can start to implement these as soon as possible, you’ll find that your broken family Christmas will be a much more enjoyable one. It’s important to remember that it does take time to heal the rift, but if you place effort into helping the healing process, you will all win out in the long run. So are you trying to bridge the gap between your family?
About the Author
Todd is the Director and Principal Psychologist at TG Psychology, in Penrith, NSW. He has over 14 years of experience working with adults and young people in both public health and private practice settings. He has treated people from diverse cultural backgrounds, with a variety of emotional health and behavioural issues, including: depression, anxiety, relationship issues, anger, addictions, trauma and grief. He has also facilitated a number of group programs, treating a wide range of issues: from quitting cannabis, to social skills training, self-esteem development and deliberate self-harm behaviours.