The story of the holidays has changed.
No longer is it the Norman Rockwell picture of the family: mom, dad, the kids and grandparents, sitting around the table.
Today over half of our children come from broken marriages. Celebrations will be with either one parent, or the other.
Bountiful tables many also are laden with uneasiness.
Stepparent, biological parent, child and stepchild may twist in their chairs trying to feel “normal” together.
Today’s divorced and blended/step families are the norm. However, most of them are confused about how to manage these family systems.
Some kids are not thankful. Many even dread the holidays, and act with distance or rudeness.
The wounds of divorce can tear open at holidays.
Over half of our children live in divorced families.
Most go on to live in blended/stepfamilies.
Yet, the holidays are portrayed as a “ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY” celebration.
Divorced and re-coupled families are the majority.
We need to acknowledge that the family is the way it is.
Parent and stepparent need to set new guidelines: forms norms, manners and expected behaviors. We can’t expect the old rules to work in this new scene.
10 tips MAKING THE HOLIDAYS WORK:
- Plan, Plan, Plan.
- Good co-parenting means that ex’s have holiday times planned well in advance
- Pick up and Delivery is civil.
- If There Is a Stepparent; work out carefully with him/or her the arrangements, anticipated behaviors, dress, chores etc
- Expectations, Roles, Responsibilities, Manners, Forms and Norms of the children and grown ups need to clearly defined by the couple.
- Civility; exes must act respectfully toward each other. Negative behavior between parents hurts the children.
- All the Children help With the Festivities; for example, set the table, arrange flowers, help the cook, and help with the clean up.
- Parent Is Not An Entertainment Center Watch your parenting. Saying “No” is a full sentence.
- Don’t Forget to Say Thank You to those who have made the celebration possible.
- Have Fun!!