The holidays can be a stressful time for blended families. Whether your family has gone through a recent divorce/separation, or not, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety about the holidays and making it all work.
Here are 5 ways to beat the holiday stress for blended families and time sharing.
Be open and honest in discussing upcoming holiday events and time sharing. Discuss the time share schedule, drop off and pick up times and locations. Set a doable budget for holiday spending and who will be doing the actual shopping.
Accept what you can’t change
In most cases, one parent may not be able to spend time with the children due to the time-sharing schedule. Be realistic and understand that it is not the ex-partner’s fault.
If at all possible, make plans to call, face time or email the children on the given holiday. Come to the acceptance that you will not able to see your children during the holiday season even if it can be difficult.
Avoid Acting Out
Remain focused on the well-being of your children for the holidays. Do all that you can to avoid arguing or saying negative comments about the other parent. You know what conversations could trigger you to act out, therefore avoid those types of conversation at all cost.
If gift giving is a family tradition be sure that all the children receive gifts, those living there full time and part time. Also, there should not be a major difference in the types gifts the children receive.
Splitting the cost of gift buying could give child a false sense of their parents reuniting, so it’s a good idea to purchase gift separately. Encourage the children to have a gift for their step-parent as well, whether it’s something small and homemade, or purchased with their own money.
Step parents can become very stressed due to the step children not acknowledging them for holiday gift exchange. Step parents should not take this personal. Instead, acknowledge it may be just as uncomfortable for the children as it is for you.
Lastly, don’t make it a competition over gifting the most expensive gift. Remember, spending time with family has a longer lasting effect than the cost of the gift.
Take Care of Yourselves
Remember to slow down, and breathe. The holidays come and go so quickly, it’s easy to get caught up and forget to stop. Make time for each other this holiday season, exchange gifts, go to holiday parties together and enjoy the season. Love on each other intentionally.
Remember, you and your spouse are on the same team. You both want to see the family grow and have safe and healthy relationships.
If you find that you are having a difficult time keeping the peace in your home due to the issues that arise in blended families, call Life Counseling Solutions at 407-622-1770 to schedule a complimentary phone consult, or to schedule your first appointment.