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Getting Along With Relatives You Don't Care For

By Jodie Lynn


We are going to visit some relatives over spring break. Our children don't really care for these particular ones. As far as that goes, neither do I. However, I do try to get along with them, but it is difficult. How's the best way to get along with relatives that you really don't care for?


Although there is not that much time until spring break, try to build a relationship with these specific people before you go. I used to despise visiting one of my aunts, but once my mom explained a little more about her, I tried to understand her situation better, and now, she is my favorite. - Randi K. in Miami, FL


They must have some significance to your life; otherwise, you would not be staying with them. If the reason you do not like these particular relatives is something personal, try to work through it in a private, individual basis within yourself. For example, perhaps the household is too loud or maybe too many rules and not enough fun? Or, maybe they are an older couple who enjoy telling you how to raise your children? It even might be that there is a combination of several reasons why you do not like them. Sit down and make a list of the reasons and rate them on a scale of one to ten, with ten being something that drives you up a wall. Be sure to try to understand why you have given them a specific score. This will help you to identify a reason or belief as to why you have rated them a certain way. Once you have done this, take a long hard look at the scoring process and see if there are things that can be done to alleviate some of the challenges you have with them. Frequently, when we do not care for certain relatives, or people in general, it can very well be due to not having a clear picture of why they are the way they are. It would most likely help you get a clearer picture if you dug a little deeper into the family background as well. Try to keep in mind that kids will pick up on tension and uncomfortable situations and may end up mimicking your display of feelings towards the same individuals, so try to work out the kinks as soon as possible. Who knows, you might find that whatever it is could easily be resolved enough to actually build a healthy relationship with them.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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