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Tips to Help You Navigate Family Gatherings During the Holidays

December 22, 2021

I’m Dr. Lindsay
I'm a naturopathic pediatrician based in Colorado Springs offering primary care, chronic care & telemedicine appointments. I'm so glad you're here!
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Stick to Your Convictions Without Creating Conflict

It’s that time of year again – the holidays are here. Another year has gone by, and we’re still learning how to navigate tricky situations we’ve never faced before. Many families face the same predicament: You want to gather with loved ones, but you have different beliefs about how to keep your family healthy and safe. And your child’s health is your top priority.

What “should” you do? What is “right”? The truth is, there is no “right” answer. During times like these, you must listen to your gut instincts, mama, and make decisions based on what feels right for you. I’m going to share with you some tips for successfully navigating family gatherings during the holidays this year, so you can go into them with confidence during these tough times.

Develop a plan that everyone is aware of before the holiday.

Every parent is trying to do the right thing for their family. But what’s “right” might look different for you than it does for someone else close to you, and that’s okay. I do recommend talking about it before you gather for the holidays so you can create a plan you feel good about. Will you…

  • spend the night at your family’s home, or spend the afternoon together?

  • gather inside or outside?

  • share a meal together, or have a short visit with masks on?

  • hugs or no hugs?

It’s your choice. My approach as a naturopathic pediatrician is this: Your decisions about your child’s health are up to YOU. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. I believe that if we adopt this approach, we can all be accepting, and at the very least respectful of each other’s decisions around their family’s health. 

Communicate your risk tolerance.

Strong communication skills are important always, but especially during this moment in time. I want to encourage you to feel confident vocalizing your risk tolerance while gathering with others. If it feels to you that a certain situation has become unsafe, it’s okay to communicate that. Your family might not agree, but they do have to respect it. Your plans might change based on your comfort level in that moment, and that is all okay, mama.

Focus on what’s in your control.

If this experience has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t control people around us. Something might happen during your holiday gathering – expected or not – that makes you feel uncomfortable. It could be a situation that makes you feel unsafe or a conversation with a family member that makes your body temperature rise.My advice to you is to focus on what you can control. Remain calm and stick to your convictions – firmly and respectfully.

Wear a mask and practice distancing.

Are you desperately wanting to get together with family, but don’t feel comfortable being unmasked with those outside your household? You’re not alone. If you do choose to gather, you also reserve the right to make masks and distancing a part of your plan. You can visit with family while laying down some rules, if you feel comfortable. Talk to your family beforehand about keeping on their masks and sitting across the room from those outside the household. Be sure to explain things to your child beforehand.

Support your child’s immune system – aggressively. 

Getting your child ready to meet germs is not only in your control – it’s also ALWAYS a good idea! Especially around the holidays when kids are often getting sick. The holidays usually lead to staying up past bedtime, eating more sugar, and seeing new people. It’s all good fun – but you do want to keep your kiddo from getting sick. I recommend taking extra care to support your child’s immune system in the week leading up to your holiday gathering.

Here are a few supplements I recommend to my patients:

  • Liquid Vitamins A & D

  • Powdered Vitamin C

  • Designs for Health Immunoberry

  • Zinc

You can find more tips on how to best support your child’s immune system here!

Be kind and empathetic.

Everyone is going through a lot these days. Many of us parents are taking on new responsibilities while managing fear, and maybe grieving a loss. We’re all doing our best. Keep this in mind as you go into family gatherings this year. You and others close to you might have different beliefs on how to manage your family’s health, and that is okay. Do your best to be kind and extra understanding – we’ve all had different life experiences that guide our decisions.

Trust Your Mama Intuition

At the end of the day, your child’s health is your priority. And another parent places their child’s health as their priority. It’s okay to have different opinions than the people you love, but it is not okay for anyone to try and convince you otherwise. Stick to your convictions. 

Are you looking for a naturopathic pediatrician in Colorado Springs who listens to and respects your decisions for your child’s health? Book a free consultation with me to get started. I want you to know: you are qualified to make health decisions for your child, mama. And you are not alone!

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