Dealing With Opinionated Family Members? Let’s Unpack That.

What's in your suitcase

Have you ever packed for a trip and wondered if you were going to exceed the 50 lb. weight limit at the airline ticket counter? Wow, that would be embarrassing, having to open your suitcase right there in front of everyone and figure out what weighs approximately 2 lbs that you can put in your carry on or live without.  I think about that every time one of my sisters travel because they are all the definition of over packers!  This is the one thing that drives our dad crazy.  About a month before a family vacation you can bet he is in lecture mode!  ‘Now you don’t need to pack everything you own! One pair of pants can be worn several times, you don’t need a different pair for every day!’  We all just nod our heads and still pack 8 pairs for a 5 day trip.

My take on this is ‘Why does he care?!’  I have asked him on numerous occasions if he cares what the other passengers show up with at the airport.  Does he question every stranger in line to be sure they didn’t pack too much or question whether they know that hotels actually provide hair dryers? NO!  He doesn’t.  My advice to him is my favorite motto: Live and let live! 

I love this phrase because it fits so many situations in life.  I don’t have the right to judge how clean someone else keeps their car, if they do their kids’ homework for them, if they like to cook or eat out, etc.  Every person has their own way of living, it is their personal journey, so I will let them be and mind my own business.  When this is really helpful is when I feel strongly about something and am tempted to speak up or let someone know my opinion.  I have learned to listen to that wise little voice in my head repeating, ‘Live and let live, it does not affect you’.  Besides, I do not know their story or reasons for doing what they do, so I have no right to put in my two cents. I will just hold my tongue, eliminate any judgment and consider myself two cents richer!

This is difficult to do when it involves our own children and they seem to be making a decision that may have a negative outcome. Especially when we know it will and we don’t want to see them struggle. Allowing others to fail, do their own thing or make decisions we don’t agree with is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. If you would like help on parenting with love and logic strategies please reach out. Creating peace for ourselves and harmony in our relationships is crucial to our happiness! Visit to get on the waitlist for a course or call. We can shift your perspective and allow you to enjoy your loved ones (and your vacations!).

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