Happy New Year or is it?

We start the New Year in anticipation and sometimes dread of what is ahead, the unknown of the future, if only we had a crystal ball! If we had would it enrich our lives? I doubt it, knowing what is ahead, in simple terms life becomes predictable and boring. Similarly family life would become boring if we know what going to happen next. So when I hear or overhear tales of family interactions over the festive period I recognise this as ‘family’ life, for some a happy coming together of loved ones, others an enforced coming together of family, or a dutiful event for loved ones to meet up. Whatever the scenario personalities, characters, egos, emotions all come together to celebrate what is primarily a family centred event that we know as Christmas. And yet, Police Scotland report that even though there has been a reduction in domestic abuse it still remains higher over the festive period than at any other time of the year (Police Scotland 15 January 2018). Conflict when escalated within families can be very destructive, as the statistics show. The more we can do to facilitate and educate people in self-regulation, compassion and care at a preventative and maintenance levels i.e. early and transitional years and key life stages of relationships and family, the more individual mind-sets are challenged through information and understanding becomes the catalyst for an informed choice of behavioural change. Maybe if we had a crystal ball we would become more proactive with foresight rather than hindsight.

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