Blended Families Mean Blended Holidays
According to the most recent census, approximately 16% of children in the United States live in “blended homes,” approximately 40% of households with two parents have at least one child from a prior relationship, and the National Center for Health Statistics reports that 63% of women who have remarried are now a part of a blended family. A “blended family” usually consists of two parents who are partners, or have married, and each have children from a prior relationship. Blended families are often a great experience for the children, but sometimes it does complicate pre-existing parenting plans. Usually, parents want to have the same parenting schedule as their partner so that they can have the kids all together. While the majority of families seem to be able to navigate these waters themselves, holiday schedules can sometimes throw a wrench in the situation. Here are some tips for making your Blended Family’s Blended Holidays easier:
TOP 5 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR BLENDED FAMILY’S BLENDED HOLIDAYS EASIER
- Plan Ahead. If you do not already have a set schedule in place, try to plan as far in advance as possible. This way, if conflicts do arise, you have time to work them out, rather than scrambling at the last minute.
- Make New Traditions. But keep the old, “one is silver and the other gold…” while that phrase is usually used for friendships, it is also true for holiday traditions. It’s important for blended families to create their own traditions, but it is also usually helpful for the children to still incorporate some of the traditions that they previously did as well.
- No one is a mind reader. If you want to have the children for certain days or times, start by asking. If communication lines are not open, there are bound to be misunderstandings and disappointments.
- Prioritize the kids. You may want something, your partner may want something and, inevitably, the kids want something. As with all family law matters, you should always put the children’s best interests first. Not only is that what the courts would do, but also, if a parent realizes that proposed plans are actually for their child, rather than their ex’s new spouse, they are often more open and agreeable to the idea.
- Don’t Compete. The holidays are not about competition. It should not be about whose house has the bigger tree, the nicer lights, the more expensive presents. Stress to the children that the holidays are about being kind to one another, spending time with family and friends and doing good deeds when possible. Not only will you be instilling good values in your children, but you also will not be put in a position where everything about the holiday has to be the biggest and best, which will ultimately just stress you out and not result in an enjoyable holiday for anyone.
If you have any questions pertaining to a parenting plans and/or how to modify your agreement to better support your blended family, contact us and let Wolf & Shore Law Group go to work for you and help protect your future. Click here, call us at 203.745.315, or email us at email@example.com.