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Expert Alert

U of M expert offers advice to help families make it through and enjoy the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving

November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving arrives Thursday and with it comes the season of artful navigation of familial relationships. Yes, many people will be jostling schedules and emotions in order to make it to family gatherings. And once there, they will juggle the feelings brought on by such gatherings and also try to tip toe through sensitive family subjects.

A University of Minnesota family expert who can discuss family issues during the holidays is:

William Doherty, a family social science professor in the university's College of Education and Human Development

Doherty knows the ins and outs of what challenges families face during the holiday season and he can offer advice to make it through and enjoy the season. Doherty, a nationally-recognized expert of families, is author of the "Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties."

Doherty says that every family is unique in its own way, and the best way to handle Thanksgiving is to plan for difficult family members to be difficult instead of hoping they won't be. "Getting through the holidays involves high hopes for family connection along with realistic expectations that not everything will go perfectly," he says.

"It's important for the Thanksgiving host to ask others to share in the work load rather than being a pack mule and then melting down when someone is not happy with the turkey," he says.

To interview Doherty, contact Jeff Falk, University News Service, or (612) 626-1720.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: College of Education and Human Development

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