Its been a while since I wrote my last post. I wish i could claim writers block. For some strange reasons it always seems like a cool thing when I see it in movies. I am pretty sure the writers reading this would completely disagree with me on that. Aaaaaaaanyhoo, I was busy getting married to the man I told you about on my very first post which you can catch here 🙂
I am back now and it’s my favorite time of the year. Christmas season is here with us. The joy and excitement of the holidays is so real. Family and friends coming together to celebrate the birth our Lord Jesus as well as the years accomplishments, ups and downs. Its a time to celebrate, a time to learn from the year behind. Warm fuzzies everywhere. Perfect right? Not quite. You see the holiday season can be quite stressful for step-families. It’s a reminder of the loss in their lives, it’s a time of conflict over various holiday matters for the bio/step parents involved, the children might dread the holiday season, they might act up or be rude due to the emotional strain and the fact that step-families are not “cool”
- Planning is the key to having a smooth and pleasant holiday season. With every step-family there is usually more than one home involved. It’s therefore important for the co-parents to plan in advance. Which holiday will the kids spend with whom and for how long? This should be done way in advance in order to iron out early enough any colliding schedules.
- Consider the children’s need. The kids never choose to be in a step-family and the also struggle with it just as you do so consider what they would like to do for the holidays. Be flexible and sensible for example if you have them full time and they would like to spend more time with their other parent allow them to do so without making them feel like they are asking for too much.
- The best part about holidays is the gifts. Children can be particularly fond of this part. It’s therefore important that parents (bio or step) ensure that the gifts given to the children are equal. There should not be any excesses as this creates a feeling of favoritism which can be a source of conflict for both the parents and children. Parents should be able to sit down and agree when a major gift is involved.
- Agree on the roles and responsibilities of the children and grown-ups wherever it is that they will be spending the holiday more so if the holiday will be spent at home. Children thrive in an environment of direction and predictability. It also builds their sense of responsibility and parents should be keen to praise when the roles are performed well.
- Let the children help with the festivities for example putting up the tree, decoration, helping with some cooking, setting the table, singing carols, dressing up in costumes etc. these are fun activities that everyone will enjoy and get them in the holiday spirit
- Respect and civility is important especially in cases where holidays will include everyone. Exes should act respectfully toward each other. Any conflict only hurts the children and creates a dull holiday spirit.
- Don’t forget about parenting as sometimes tends to be the case during holidays. Do not tolerate bad behavior and manners. If you need to put your foot down or even punish a child for something unacceptable do it. Holidays are no exception for good behavior.
- The holidays are great opportunity for you to create some family rituals, instill good morals and behavior. So think of something that you can do every holiday season. For example everyone can take turns to say something they are grateful for that year, family lunch with everyone where each members cooks something etc. whatever tickles your family’s fancy
- Make sure to thank everyone for their contribution to making the holiday special. Thank Mum, dad, step-mom, step-dad and children (bio and step) for making it a blessed day.
- Fun! Fun! Fun! After all it is the holiday season right?