By TMoM Team Member Dennette Bailey

In this fourth series of the positive impactful year, we are taking the opportunity to address our extended family members. Our ability to interact with extended family members can range from people we really have a good relationship with or people we barely can stand. This does not change the fact that they are our family members. Even if we manage to avoid them throughout the year, at some point there will be an instance in which we have to interact with them.

When we are living our best lives, we want to be a positive influence on them too. That does not mean we are announcing how great we are. On the contrary, it is actually the perfect occasion to give these family members the opportunity to display their great attributes.

Consider These 5 Ways to Positively Influence Your Extended Family

1 – Stay in Your lane

Unless asked, try not to offer unsolicited advice to your extended family members. However, if you feel you can add to the family member, first ask permission to give advice and listen to their answer. Sometimes conflict can be avoided when we simply mind our own business.

2 – United We stand

Make sure your immediate family is cohesive. Sometimes seeing a stable family is all others need to desire that for themselves. We do not have to criticize or judge to prove our point. Nurture your family so that when you are around extended family members, they see you really love and enjoy your immediate family members. Then, you will influence them to work hard on their own family.

3 – Set Boundaries

We cannot be everything to everyone. Decide on how you can be available to extended family members ahead of time. For example, if you will babysit or loan money set a time limit and budget beforehand that is not based on who asks. That way, if someone asks, you already know what your boundaries are. Consider using the “don’t loan what you can’t give rule.” If you can afford to give $1000 out a year- that needs to be your budget- so that if a family member does not pay it back, the relationship is not ruined.

4 – Watch Your Mouth

Communicate with your extended family members the way you would like to be communicated with. Evaluate this by thinking of how you would talk to the family member you love and respect and use that tone with all the family members. Again, know your boundaries. If you know your time limit to be around a family member can not exceed 15 minutes -have an escape plan. You do not want to ruin all that positive influence you have had on your nieces and nephews (for example) by having an altercation with your aunts and uncles.

5 – Charity Starts at Home

How many times have you heard someone say they are going to give the same energy they received? If that energy is negative, no one wins. Quite frankly- I am a winner – That said, I am determined to give out positive energy and whether it is reciprocated or not is not my concern because all I can receive is positive energy. So, for charity’s sake- give good energy to your extended family members no matter what. Be the one to make the 1st, 2nd and 3rd call if it will result in peace. Send the invitation even if no rsvp is returned. Take time to acknowledge the attributes of others. Also, be nice to all children no matter how much you dislike their parents.

In addition to the ability to have a less stressful life, these 5 suggestions may also assist you in being a positive influence on your extended family members. Even if only one child sees your responses to extended family and is motivated to act in kind, you have made a tremendous positive impact on the future. A positive future for them and for you!

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