As the seasons change and winter arrives in the Highlands, the mountains turn white, the gritters are out and the Christmas lights are switched on we know that Christmas is fast approaching. This is a time of high expectation, anticipation and excitement but Christmas often does not match up to our hopes. This is a time to celebrate as a family but sometimes the changes we have encountered over the year can come into sharp focus and different and complicated emotions can come to the fore. Managing the expectations of the festive period and the often mixed emotions that go with this time of year can be challenging.


Change isn’t something that everyone finds easy.  Some people thrive on the challenge of new and exciting, but not all change is welcome, or indeed a good thing.  A diagnosis of a serious illness, loss, caring for an elderly parent, children leaving home, changes in financial circumstances all add pressure to family lives.


We all know that our children will grow into teenagers and young adults, and that our parents will grow older, but often we don’t realise how difficult and emotionally challenging this can be and what  impact this has on our everyday lives.  We assume that these are changes that we should all be able to manage.  So why does it sometimes feel like a constant battle?


Expectations have changed across the generations, life is often so busy, and sometimes we haven’t got over one hurdle before being hit with the next problem. Sometimes families get stuck, family members are unable to talk to one another in a way that others can hear the point they are trying to make, and sometimes family members just decide to stop talking as they feel it makes no difference anyway.

Families often overcome difficulties best if they are able to support one another by listening, sharing  and talking about what is happening and trying to find a solution together.

We know that Christmas is a time when people are most in need of support and it is also a time when difficulties or challenges are highlighted most because of the impact of change and the fact that Christmas is a time when we are all together possibility more than usual and when we are most likely to face the things that upset us most such as losing someone we care about, facing family breakdown or learning to live with other changes in our life circumstances

Relationships Scotland – Family Mediation Highland is offering a new service to help families struggling with change and offers a calm, safe and confidential space for families to talk about and explore their difficulties.  It can help family members to understand each other’s views and needs, and assists them to identify solutions and find new and positive ways forward that work for their particular circumstances.

For more information on the new Family Transitions service please contact Relationships Scotland – Family Mediation Highland on 01463 712100 or alternatively email us at



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