We love our families and we are proud of our Latin heritage. But, there’s a big gap in certain elements, such as traditional beliefs, that cause some younger generations to butt heads with their families during the Holidays.
Latinos are known for having a strong traditional background. Most of us have heard our madres y abuelitas preaching about the importance of certain subjects in our life, and from an early age, we are encouraged to do things just like they did it.
We have grown up perceiving many of life’s subjects through their eyes: politics, marriage, relationships, work, among many others.
It may be tricky if you choose to embrace your Latin heritage but at the same time, you decide to approach life with a new set of rules that you realized works best for you.
En consecuencia, this leads you to live your life differently than your family in certain categories.
Entonces, it’s not strange that by the time everyone in the family gathers, certain tensions come along, especially if our madres, tías y abuelitas don’t hesitate in asking us why we are approaching life differently than they did.
Examples: Living with a partner before marriage, changing religions, pursuing a creative career, and so on.
So to help you navigate these tricky times with La Familia, we’ve done some research. Here are some tips for getting through the family festivities in a peaceful manner without losing the beautiful traditions.
Realize you are not alone
You are truly not alone. Any millennial goes through this in some way with their family, especially if a lot of changes have happened in their life. The more you explore and grow, the more you will find yourself.
Accept the discomfort
I have learned to shift the focus and take responsibility for my own feelings and reactions. Our family did the best they could while raising us and it’s time to accept it and determine that we are only choosing to do it differently. However, this does not have to affect our family relationships, especially during the Holidays.
It’s okay to disagree and hold different opinions. It’s just that we are not used to it. Accept the discomfort that comes along with this and push through it.
Before seeing your family, take a minute to think about what irritates or hurts you. That way, you are on the lookout when sensitive questions come along or sensitive subjects are brought up. Make a plan or at least prepare a peaceful answer. Or as one of my friends once told me: “Tell them what they want to hear.” Out of love, keep the peace.
You could also decide ahead of time on a course of action: pulling out your phone to distract yourself, leaving the room, changing the conversation to give compliments to the food they cooked. We all have the power inside to make the best of any situation.
Once you’ve admitted to yourself that you’re uncomfortable, and you’ve made a plan for how you will manage any possible conflict, start to think positively – I know it sounds so cliche…pero, think of all the amazing things happening at the dinner. Everyone was able to attend the dinner, the Latin food is amazing, be thankful that we have a day off from work… la lista sigue.
Manage your alcohol intake
A very tricky tip, especially in some Latin Households. Pero, if you know conflict that is most likely to happen, adding alcohol to the situation can only make things more complicated. It’s often smart to limit alcohol intake during times like these, so you are 100% present on how you react and deal with conflicts.
If not consuming alcohol during dinner is not a choice, it is advisable to limit the intake to a minimum.
Reschedule to see your family another time
It’s not always an easy choice, but deciding not to see your family during the holidays can be a necessary one if you know you will not feel comfortable. Know your boundaries. Maybe just seeing them for one night can be more than enough or maybe not. It’s all about your personal journey.
Overall, it’s not worth eliminating the beautiful traditions and heritage that we grew up with just because we disagree and live our lives differently from our families. It’s all about honoring where we came from, and being conscious that deep down our ancestors would want us to do things better than they did. Trust that.