Not This Time, Grampa

As grandparents begin to think about fall and upcoming holidays, they fantasize about family gatherings that resemble their favorite holiday cards. The problem occurs when family members have different cards in mind then they do. Some grandparents hold tight obligatory appearances over their children's heads. But, maybe, the children want to spend a quiet day with their own children instead of traipsing to Grandma and Grandpa's house in bad weather and traffic.

How can grandparents make lemonade out of that Lemon? Perhaps, take the opportunity to book a cruise to a warm and exotic getaway where Grandma and Grandpa can remember what it is like to be - just You and Me. That does not mean you cannot shop and plan a great day for the grandchildren, just learn to be flexible on the date. The next time the grand kids are available, is a good day to celebrate missed holidays. The children will love it and so will you...what ever day that happens to be.

If you make a big deal out of their absence or force people to spend holidays with you, the day could be ruined for everyone. If you are alone on a holiday, give yourself great presents that you really want. Find a few lonely stragglers and cook a Holiday Friends dinner.

As your children age, they will return less and less. Sad but true. So get yourself back out there and get a life! You might still get that welcomed phone call, "Hey, Dad, we can come home after all!" If not, have plenty to do and work hard to make new friends and share good times together - even if they are not the picture perfect times of your fantasies.

©2009, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Take the new relationship compatibility test, Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships for Singles, Couples and Business at Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers at

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