Blended Family Holidays

Blended Family Holiday Survival Guide, By Dr. Brad SchwallDr. Brad Schwall

Divorce and remarriage change family holidays.  Parents must adjust plans for their kids for the holidays which can cause stress, even resentment.  How can parents in blended families adjust to changes in holiday celebrations for the benefit of the children?  

Challenge:  Holiday plans for blended families must change and the changes may not be pleasing to the parents or the kids.  What do parents in blended families need to do?

Tip:  Accept the arrangement.

  • You cannot change the fact that you must make adjustments in your plans.
  • Make the most of it.

Challenge:  It can be tricky making everyone's schedules coincide and taking everyone's needs into consideration.  How can parents make the holidays go as smoothly as possible?

Tip:  Make a plan.

  • Plan ahead.
  • Work with each other to create the best possible situation for your children.
  • Keep the plan as simple as possible.
  • Avoid over-scheduling.

  What if you are accepting the arrangement and making a good plan, but there is still conflict about the plans?

  Keep it positive.

  • Do not involve your children in conflict.
  • Do not seek revenge.
  • Show the children that you can problem-solve and make the most of the situation.
  • It is hard enough for children to adjust to changes. Having to witness angry, resentful parents only makes the changes more difficult.

Kids like routine.  They like the comfort of traditions.  What can parents do to help their children with the adjustments in how they celebrate the holidays?

Tip:  Keep traditions and create new traditions.

  • Maintain traditions your children enjoy even if they are done at a different time than normal.
  • Create new traditions that your children enjoy with their input.
  • Focus on the meaning of celebrations.

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