Thanksgiving comes but once a year and it is such a blessing to spend time with family and friends, but do you find that you revert to your childhood days when you come together with the family? If you are the youngest of the siblings, do you allow the older brothers and sisters to boss you around? If you are the oldest, do you catch yourself telling your younger siblings what to do? When your parents are around do you experience a tinge of guilt when you tell your son or daughter they do not have to eat certain things on their plate? This could very well be the reason you feel frustrated when you gather with the family for the holidays. By dealing with your family as an adult and not as a child, you'll keep a balance that helps to avoid family feuds.
For example, you may have been raised in a home where yelling and endless arguing took place and was considered acceptable behavior. Now that you are grown and have a family of your own, you have decided to handle things differently through calm discussion. Or you may have come from a household that did not choose to say a prayer of thanksgiving before eating a meal. As a grownup, you have chosen to begin each meal with a prayer.
As an adult, you have choices to make - choices on how you will interact with your spouse, children, friends, and co-workers. You have to choose a career path that suits you and the needs of your family. As children come along so do more choices; where they will attend school and whom their playmates will be. Decisions, decisions, decisions! Not everyone will agree with your decisions. It's okay! Everyone makes mistakes along the way, but if you are doing what you feel is best for you and your family then feel good about it.
When I first became an adult, I relied on my biological father for everything. I didn't make a decision without calling him. I valued his opinion and was convinced he would never lead me astray. He was right most of the time, but early in my adult life my father passed away. The person I depended on to help me with life's challenges was gone. It was then that I accepted my role as a grownup and turned to God, the one who would never leave me and would always have the right advice in every situation.
I love this quote by Leonard Felder, Ph.D: "If you can learn to stay sane and positive around your relatives, you'll be more confident about handling any business or crisis situation in your life."
Some of the most critical people we encounter are those we call relatives. With God by your side you can walk into the next family get-together with God-confidence. It outweighs self-confidence in every way!