24 Dec 3 Tips to Survive the Holidays with Your Blended Family
You’re not the only parent that fears holidays. Here are 3 quick tips to remember during these holidays.
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You may see your children occasionally throughout the year, but when it comes to the holidays you’re suddenly spending a lot more time with them than you’re used to.
The stress of being in a family structure where traditional family roles aren’t clearly defined can cause little problems to quickly escalate into arguments. However, there are some things that you can do as a parent to make things easier during the holiday season.
Put your children first
Remember that these times can be difficult for children, especially if the separation is still fresh. Make sure you listen to the child’s concerns and let them know that it’s okay to have a mixture of emotions. Remember that the holidays are supposed to be a fun, enjoyable time for your children. Listening to constant arguments is not particularly fun.
Plan ahead & be on your best behaviour
Parents need to have a plan ahead of time that specifies when and where the children will be. Manners can get you a long way. Be polite to the other parent and ensure you confirm plans in writing by email or text. Having written plans helps avoid misunderstandings. Also, don’t forget to keep your children updated on where they will go and when.
Make sure everything is in text, as things can easily be misinterpreted or forgotten if they were only spoken about on the phone.
Avoid a gifting competition
It is not uncommon for one parent to give gifts that they know the children want without consulting the other parent. This includes electronics like iPhones and iPads that one parent thinks is not age appropriate for the child.
While your son might love his new German Shepherd, if they can’t take that pet to the other parent’s house then the gift ultimately causes them to feel stress, anxiety and disappointment. Sometimes, the gifts cause children to feel like a pawn in their parents’ battle.
Try to organise with the other parent so that the gifts are given from the parents jointly – despite the parents living in different households – this will give the children a sense of comfort that is a gift beyond a typical present.