Filled with quality time and various bonding moments – albeit with the odd argument or two – family holidays can be pretty special occasions.
And this is the case not just when you’re a child, but as a teen and adult too.
But what happens when your child wants to invite their partner along?
Peter Andre recently spoke about this topic, sharing his own personal thoughts in The Sun, saying: ‘It’s an interesting one. It would have to be a long-term relationship for me to pay for a partner of one of my kids to come on holiday with us.
‘I have two young kids I don’t want them just seeing older siblings bringing people along.’
It’s a dilemma many parents face.
Some might see the opportunity as an excellent time to bond with a child’s partner. However, others might see these holidays as a time to be with solely family.
So, what’s the best way to deal with it? And is there a right answer?
Alicia Ortega, a marriage and family therapist, tells Metro: ‘Firstly, hats off to Peter for being open about this. It’s a topic most families hush down in their living rooms. And let’s be real; introducing partners into family dynamics, especially on holidays, can be like trying to mix oil and water – it either blends or totally doesn’t.
‘Peter’s point about paying for a kid’s partner is an interesting one. In many cultures, it’s a gesture of goodwill. It screams: “Hey, you’re one of us now!” But is it normal? That’s like asking if pineapple on pizza is normal. Some will give you a high-five, and others might consider it an unspeakable act of culinary blasphemy.
‘In my experience, if parents are genuinely comfortable and see a long-term bond brewing, they sometimes make that financial gesture.’
But Alicia says things can get even trickier when it comes to discussions around sharing a room.
She adds: ‘Oh boy, I’ve seen some heated debates about this. The thing is, while we want to respect our kids’ growing independence, safety and comfort can’t be tossed out of the window. It’s crucial to have candid conversations and maybe even set some ground rules.’
Also, as Peter points out, there are other members of the family to take into account.
Alicia adds: ‘Let’s not forget the other members of the family brigade. When introducing a new dynamic like a child’s partner, it’s not just about the couple in love or the parents—it’s about everyone else too. Grandparents, cousins, siblings, and even that quirky uncle. Each person might have a different level of comfort and acceptance toward this new addition.
‘For some, it might be a refreshing change, and they’re all in for a new playmate in the holiday board games. For others, particularly siblings, it could feel like their space or traditional family time is being invaded.
‘It’s essential to gauge everyone’s feelings because one person’s comfort or discomfort can impact the overall holiday mood.’
So how can you make a decision if you’re struggling whether to invite a child’s boyfriend or girlfriend?
Alicia says the key is balance and respect – and ensuring all family members are comfortable and that should help with the final decision.
She adds: ‘Ensure everyone feels heard and acknowledged, and find ways to make sure the trip remains enjoyable for all. ‘
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