The holidays are a special time of the year to bring family and friends together.The comfort, joy and support these relationships bring to the holiday season need not be packed away with the decorations.

The holidays are a special time of the year to bring family and friends together.The comfort, joy and support these relationships bring to the holiday season need not be packed away with the decorations.

Plan now to build on the support of these relationships, brought on by the holiday spirit, well into the new year.

“Successful couple and family relationships function much like a support group,” says Charlotte Shoup Olsen, who is a family systems specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

Resilience can be built through strong family relations. Olsen likens nurturing resilience to building an emergency fund. Supportive family relationships can help to overcome adversity from the inevitable ups and downs in life and life-changing events.

Olsen offers several tips for building resilience through strong family relations into the new year:

• Appreciate the good times. Acknowledge others as individuals and express appreciation for the individual and the relationship.

• Be respectful. Individuals in a respectful, resilient relationship should be able to express thoughts or ideas.

• Practice listening skills, so others in the relationship will feel free to express their thoughts and ideas.

• Nurture the commitment. Consider where the relationship ranks in your life.

• Accept responsibility for dropping the ball. Work on correcting mistakes or other behaviors that can be harmful to relationships.

• Be positive, honest, sincere, thoughtful and complimentary.

• Be willing to compromise.

• Plan time together to strengthen the relationship.

• Look for opportunities for sharing, such as a family game night, volunteering as a family, or a regularly scheduled date night for strengthening couple relations.

More information on building and nurturing successful relationships is available by visiting the K-State Research & Extension website at:  www.ksre.ksu.edu and clicking on ‘Home and Family.”