Relate Press Releases
NOV 23 2011 / ‘Tis the season for.....arguments
• 68% of respondents expect to row over the holidays
• 39% cite Christmas day as the time they are most likely to have a bust up over the holiday season
• Last year the charity saw a 35% increase in people looking for help
New research* from the relationship experts, Relate, reveals that whilst Christmas is certainly a time for families, it can also be a time when tempers fray. Last year the charity saw a 35% increase in people looking for help in the first week in January alone**.
The findings show that whilst a heart warming 66% of those interviewed are looking forward to spending time with family over the festive season, more, 68%, expect to row over the holidays and 39% are most likely to have a big bust up on Christmas day itself.
Which is why top of Relate’s wish list this year is for all families across the country to enjoy a happy and argument free festive season.
Relate Counsellor, Denise Knowles, commented: “It’s a really sad fact that we see a huge surge of calls for help during and after the festive season. This year, all we want is for families to enjoy a happier and more peaceful Christmas.”
The most common problems for fireworks were identified as personality clashes (14%) and not agreeing on what to do (10%). And it seems we are most likely to argue with our partner (29%) or our children (13%).
To help, the charity is offering advice on how to cope with the festive season, including an advent calendar packed full of tips at www.relate.org.uk.
Denise Knowles, continued “It’s hard not to get excited about Christmas, especially the little ones who look forward to the yearly visit from Santa. However, this can place immense pressure on families and parents in particular.
“Arguments happen, but the following advice will help stop them spiralling out of control:
• It’s all in the planning - do as much planning and organising before the festive day. Delegate and share the responsibilities in the lead up to and the day itself
• If you do argue, stick to the argument topic – avoid adding ‘and another thing...........’ as this will mean the issue doesn’t get resolved
• Confront the issue, not each other
• Don’t play the blame game -try not to blame each other or anyone else in the family. This only invites one of you to become defensive, increasing the ‘attack’
• Remember alcohol has a way of making tongues loose and problems larger than perhaps they are. Be careful with the Christmas booze; the hangover can be cured but the damage of words can scar deeply
• Pull crackers, enjoy the jokes and gifts, but don’t make a partner the butt end of your jokes. It may not be the cracker that is the only thing that goes off with a bang.
• Talk about how ‘I’ feel, this reduces confusion. Don’t hint or use sarcasm; avoid bringing in other people’s opinions to back you up. So for example - “I think........” not “Everyone thinks....”
• Listen to what is being said, you might learn something, or least have something new to consider”
However, with over one third (36%) of families saying their family bond is strengthened over Christmas, it’s clear that spending time together celebrating the festive season does bring people closer together.
Denise Knowles, commented: “We all now lead such busy lives it can be difficult to find time to spend with each other, and that’s really important for families. That’s why Christmas can be so fantastic as it allows everyone to come together.
“This year, by following the advice available on our website, www.relate.org.uk we hope that everyone is able to enjoy a happy and peaceful Christmas.”
To get tips and advice from Relate’s festive advent calendar, visit www.relate.org.uk
Contact Media and PR Officer, Kim Atkins on: 020 7554 2892 / email@example.com or for out of hours enquiries - 07971 869 735
* Fieldwork was conducted by Vision Critical on behalf of Relate in October 2011. 1,512 British adults aged 18+ were surveyed. All were in a relationship for 3 years+, with children (of any age). There was a broad spread of age, gender, region and social grade. Quoted figures are weighted.
**35% increase is made up of 20% increase in calls to Relate’s 0300 100 1234 number and 15% increase in unique visitors to www.relate.org.uk over the first week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) in January 2011 compared to an average week in 2010.
Notes to editors:
• Relate’s vision is a future in which healthy relationships form the heart of a thriving society
• Relate’s services extend beyond couple counselling to family counselling, counselling for young people, online counselling, sex therapy and informal workshops
• Relate works in schools, primary care settings, prisons, and Children’s Centres
• Relate supports 150,000 people each year in over 600 locations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
• Relate has a work-force of 2,000 people nationwide
• For more information and advice visit: www.relate.org.uk