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Hold on Tight: Tips for Surviving the Holidays as a Blended Family

Posted on in Divorce

Surviving the Holidays as a Blended Family Although many strive for a personal rendition of the idyllic Norman Rockwell holiday when the winter season comes, those facing the challenges of a blended family may only revisit feelings of loss, sadness and even anger, often emotions associated with a recent divorce or remarriage.

Noted professionals offer numerous suggestions to ease the tension between blended families during the holiday season.

Fran C. Dickson, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Eastern Kentucky University and featured contributor to Communications Currents, a publication of the National Communication Association, offers the following advice to blended families as means for exhibiting better behaviors throughout the holiday season.

Bridging the Generation Gap

Dickson believes that the best way to avoid disagreements over holiday expectations or visiting schedules between the younger family members and their elders is to present clear and concise expectations. This advice may also serve custodial parents who plan on interrupting an ex-spouse’s child visitation schedule to suit personal holiday expectations or planned family events.

Encourage Positive Behaviors

Simply stated, no one enjoys change. As members of blended families are not always housed under the same roof, forcing the feeling of family ties can certainly ignite holiday heat.

Dickson believes that this type of entrapment may lead to serious patterns of pre-established bad behaviors. She further suggests that perhaps by exhibiting positive behaviors and avoiding the blame game, family time may become more comfortable.

Minimizing the Materialism

Although difficult, since many blended families often house children of varying ages,

Dickson believes that minimizing the materialistic characteristics of the season may allow the family to focus on the importance of family and the time spent together.

Starting with a Blank Canvas

As Norman Rockwell once did, one broad stroke of the paintbrush can create new beginnings for the blended family. Creating new family traditions and memories may alleviate the stress often associated with pre-existing traditions and memories of holidays past.

If you, as the non-custodial parent, are experiencing difficulties with the enforcement of your child visitation schedule, the experienced Lombard family law attorneys of A. Traub & Associates can help. Contact our Lombard office at 630-426-0196 to learn how we can help you get back into the picture.
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