'Tis the season to.... well that sentence can end in many different ways. Christmas can be a really special time, but it can also add some extra stresses - check out this factsheet for some tips for managing relationships over Christmas time.

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Ideas for Tough Times - Anger

One of a series of short interviews with resilient New Zealand young people who have come through tough times. This video explores how young people deal with the feeling of anger.

Skylight helps children, young people and their families deal with change, loss, trauma and grief - whatever the cause. Head over to www.skylight.org.nz to find out more.

  • Author: Skylight
  • Upload Date: 2010/4/28

This video was sourced from You Tube. Video created by Skylight

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The Great Balancing Act

Do you ever feel like you are in a balancing act with your parents? One minute you are happy and carefree and the next your down each others throats? From arguments to Kodak moments, we all have our ups and downs with our parents. Correct? But can you imagine life without them? Imagine a world without parents. I don't know about you but I would feel lost and confused, and I would certainly miss the irreplaceable memories that I share with them.

So why do we challenge and constantly disagree with our parents? All teenagers understand the frustration that is experienced when we hear the words, "No, you can't go to that party", or"No, you aren't going there with that boy", but still we try and try again to reach our goals. Read the full story here http://www.tuneinnotout.com/blog/the-great-balancing-act

  • Author: Jess
  • Upload Date: 2011-11-29

Written by Jess


Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

Coping with the Christmasn Season

Christmas and the holidays can be a busy time. It might be that:Image by Zellaby @ flickr

  • People are working longer hours at work to get things finished before starting the holidays.
  • Christmas adds financial stress.
  • It is difficult to find time to get all the Christmas shopping done in time.
  • Going to various family, work or social events and functions.

Everyone reacts differently to these things and sometimes people react because they are stressed and tired. For example, Christmas can be a time when families argue more than they usually do, over what may seem like petty things (this might be particularly the case with extended family who you only see once or twice a year).

Check out our topic page about resolving arguments. Trying to understand people's reactions might help you to manage how you deal with Christmas stress.

Getting some space at a busy time

Respecting each other's space might help you to get along better with those you are spending Christmas with. It is also a good idea to make sure that you can take time out. This can include things like going for a walk, listening to some music or ringing a friend.

If you are finding that things are getting on top of you, it might be helpful to talk to someone about how you are feeling. This might mean talking to the person or people involved to see if you can work something out together. Sometimes, people may not be aware that they are making you sad or angry. If you are going to talk to them, it is a good idea to do it when you are both feeling calm. Check out Reach Out's factsheet on Telling someone big news for more suggestions.

You might prefer to talk with someone who is not so close to the situation. Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (free call from a landline) or Lifeline 13 11 14 (cost of a local call from a landline) have counsellors who are available 24 hours a day and the call does not show up on your phone bill.

Spending Christmas away from the family

Spending Christmas away from home can be lonely. It might be helpful for you to plan to do something a bit different to help make the time more enjoyable.

If you are not spending Christmas day with family, you might want to plan something else to do. If you have friends who are in a similar situation, you might want to spend Christmas together.

Another idea is to volunteer to help with a Christmas lunch. Church groups or organisations like the Salvation Army or Smith Family often put on a Christmas lunch and are often looking for volunteers. Check out your local phone book for details of the Salvation Army, Smith Family, or your local church group.

Also check out our blog about having an online celebration.

Dealing with a split family

If your family is split it might be that you have to separate your time between your mum's and dad's place. Sometimes it means going away and being away from friends over the holidays. It might also be a time when your mum and dad seem to be fighting, which can be hard for you. It might help to remember that the reason parents react how they do is not your fault.

Some ideas for helping to get through this time

Work out a Christmas plan - It might help to talk with your parents about how you are going to split your time at Christmas. If your parents live close by, you might want to do lunch at one place and dinner at the other (swapping each year). If you live a little further away then you can swap whom you spend Christmas with each year.

Take time out - Spending time with someone you see very little of can be tough. It is also hard to stay in a place you may call 'home', but is not complete with all your stuff. Taking time out might help you to have more fun. You might want to chill out listening to some music, go for a walk or talk to a friend.

Check out our blog on a non traditional Christmas, and how there can be as much festive fun online

Managing Relationships Over Christmas

Hanging out with parents + family

Image by webster @ Flickr CCChristmas may be a busy time with your family. It may just be Mum, Dad and your brothers and sisters, however it is not uncommon to have grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins around for Christmas. It may be that you only see some of these people a couple of times a year and don't feel you have a lot in common with them. If there are different opinions within the group, it might mean that people are a little more on edge. This may make it hard for everyone to relax.

It is a good idea to remember to try and respect people's space and if things are getting on top of you, try to take some time out. You may want to go for a walk, listen to some music or read a book in a quiet place.

Spending time with your boyfriend/girlfriend over Christmas

That feeling of love can be heaps of fun and celebrating Christmas together may be something that you want to do. Christmas may also be a time when your family expects you to be home with them. Sometimes it can be hard to balance the two. To do this, it may help to think about how you can do both.

You may be able to create a special time to see your girlfriend/boyfriend. This may be on Christmas Eve, Christmas night or Boxing day.

If your family is going away for Christmas, you may want to do something special a few days before or after you go away. There is no reason why you can't give presents then and make it just as special as Christmas Day.

Buying presents

When you care about someone it is not unusual to want to buy something special. Sometimes you may feel pressure to buy something that is outside your price range. Try to remember that presents don't represent what you feel for someone.

It is a good idea to stick to what you can afford. Be creative and think of something romantic to do for your girlfriend/boyfriend such as taking them on a picnic or making a special CD with all their favourite songs.

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2 Responses to “Christmas Season”

  1. Victoria says:

    how is this fecking christmas?

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