Friday, December 30, 2011

A new beginning for your blended family for 2012

Blended family struggles may have made 2011 a frustrating year for you and your step-family. Are you already trying to forget this year and looking forward to 2012? Well, it is finally here, and the new can be full of exciting experiences and fresh opportunities for you and your stepfamily.

Balancing time with your blended family
Occasionally, a blended family gets out of balance when non-custodial or step kids come to visit. Mom tries to become the best step mom ever and dad does his best Superman impression. Of course, no one is going to be happy 100 percent of the time, and giving the children anything they desire can create a less than ideal environment.

Balancing family
Make a set of rules for your step family, which apply to all your children whether they live there or not. Above all, be sure that everyone is treated the same. When step kids are visiting, it is OK for the biological parent to spend a little personal time with them, but it should not keep them from the rest of the blended family for the entire day. Furthermore, be sure to involve the non-custodial children in everything. They are just as much a part of your blended or step family as anyone else.

Balancing marriage in your stepfamily
The smartest way to maintain a successful and strong stepfamily is to keep your marriage in good shape. You should make time for your spouse every day and plan date night a few times each month.

Balancing life
You need to manage your job, spouse, kids and blended family, but be sure not to forget about yourself! Being the step dad or step mom is hard, and if you keep running around making sure everyone else is happy, then you will end up burnt out and of no use to your step family.

Unwinding after a hectic day is important. What works for you? Whether it is taking a bubble bath or reading a good book, make time for what helps you unwind. Everyone can find time to relax if they try hard enough. Trust me; your blended family will thank you for it, because you will find yourself being a bit more patient with everyone when you are more relaxed.

Show yourself respect and allow others to respect you as well. When your spouse, children or step kids ask you what you want for Christmas or for a birthday, give them an actual answer. Start thinking about yourself; you deserve it.

The most important thing to do is make a little time for you. A little personal time will rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. In turn, your stepfamily will appreciate the happier, healthier and stronger you. This will ensure that your blended family has a great 2012!

The Blended and Step Family Resource Center aims to help blended and stepfamilies become strong and successful. We offer counseling and coaching services to step parents and those who will become part of a blended family. Contact us today and let us help you find hope for your blended family.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When a college-aged child comes home to the blended family

Blended family transitions can be confusing. Whether they come after the school year or during an extended holiday break, parents of returning college-age children are faced with a difficult transition when their child returns home. This is true in nuclear families, too, but especially poignant when divorce, remarriage, step family and step kids have changed the home your college-age kids once knew.


It is important to remember that this time of transition is just as hard, if not harder, on your child as he or she returns home. They have been out on their own for a while now, and even though you may have been covering some of their bills; college is moderately supervised, but they still have a good feel for independence, and probably like it.

In college, they have been making their own decisions and controlling their day to day activities and schedule. They chose what they ate, when they slept, how late they stayed out, and pretty much everything else. Now that they return home, hard enough under any circumstance, they are returning to a new blended family. Mom has entered remarriage and lives somewhere new. That comforting feeling of home is no longer there.

Dad is married again as well, and his new wife has kids of her own, new step kids for him and step siblings for him or her, so your child feels out of place there as well. All kids, even college kids, still may hold to that fantasy of mom and dad reuniting, and everything going back to the way it was. These dreams may live for many years after the divorce has occurred. He now has a step family, step mom, and a step dad to get to know, and all can be very overwhelming.

If both parents have entered remarriage, the reconciliation ship has sailed. Children may need a reminder that things are different now. Guiding them through these changes will teach them maturity and leave them better prepared to handle future adversity.

Keep in mind that your child has been away during the process of creating a blended family, and they may need their own space for awhile. They may want to drift back and forth, visiting between biological parents, which is perfectly fine so long as you are aware of their whereabouts at all times.

Since home and the step family may not feel comfortable to them yet, some students may choose to travel during their break. Try not to see this as an insult or something negative. Seeing the world will do them good, and it will open their eyes and expand their ability to be independent. Their travel may be sponsored or supervised by their school, so be wary of jumping to judgment.

Drawing the Line
Although we have focused on compromise, there are some areas that should stay the same. If your child will not be contributing to household costs in any way, then they must obey the house rules and the requests of the adults. This could include being assigned certain tasks in and around the home.

Blended family, step family, or nuclear family, it is important to remember that mom, dad, step mom and step dad all love their kids and step kids. Just make sure your college-age kids know this by continually reminding them. It is a difficult age, and you no doubt remember it quite well. No longer a child, yet not prepared to be an adult. Give them a chance to be independent, while remaining close enough for them to lean on when necessary.

The Blended and Step Family Resource Center offers assistance in the form of counseling and coaching services as well as other resources to help blended families become strong and successful in their new family setting. Get in touch with our licensed professional counselors if you need help with your blended and step family.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Maintaining traditions in a blended family

When special occasions come around in your new blended family, are you excited or filled with dread? Do you wonder how you will manage to devote time to traditions held by the rest of your family? When holidays roll around, do you drag your step family somewhere, or do you hold an event at your house? Here are some basic tips to help with those decisions.

Boundaries in your blended family
Sure, your own parents can be demanding at times, but that does not mean you and your blended family have to spend your holiday at their house every year. It is important to show love and consideration to your parents, but they have to realize that your first obligations now are to your blended family. There is nothing wrong with setting limits with each of your parents.

NO is not a dirty word
It is OK to say no to your family. If the schedule for your blended family is too busy, you cannot afford the trip, or one of your kids or step kids is ill, it is perfectly acceptable to stay home for the holidays. When your parents ask if you are coming home for a holiday, remind them that you ARE home. Creating new traditions in your step family is, and should be, your first priority.

Having a baby
Families have differing views on handling the birth of a baby. Some see it as a private time for mom and dad, while others expect the entire family is welcome in the delivery room with video cameras. There is no right answer, and should be decided by you and your spouse. However, due to the circumstances, mom should have the final say.

Does any of this actually matter?
Of course it does! A blended family, step kids, a step mom or step dad, and possibly a new baby; this makes navigating family events complicated. Now that you have a stepfamily, your parents will expect to spend time with you, and with them, too. The love you hold for your parents is wonderful and valuable, but it is also important to set some boundaries in relation to your blended family.

How can I make my parents understand this?
Thank them for the great job they did in bringing you up. Let them know you understand and appreciate all the sacrifices they made to provide you with a happy family and a loving home. You can then tell them that it is your turn now. Now it is time for you to demonstrate the great parenting skills they taught you and use them with your own step or blended family.

It is time to make your own traditions with your blended family. Talk with your spouse to find out what makes family events special in their family, and incorporate those aspects into your new family celebrations. Remember that you and your spouse are the bosses in your blended family, and the decision on how you spend your holidays is entirely yours.

Blended and Step Family Resource Center receives 2011 Best of Charlotte Award in the Mental Health Clinics category from USCA

US Commerce Association (USCA) has presented the 2011 Best of Charlotte award in the Mental Health Clinics category to The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the US. Annually, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category, enhancing the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

New York-based U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across the country. USCA promotes local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.  

USCA has earned respect and loyalty by following a simple, three-part strategic vision:
  • Be the primary repository of the best in local business information and resources. 
  • Attract the best people. 
  • Promote the best practices in the industry
USCA works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. It's mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

Blended and Step Family Resource Center or Blended Family Advice (BFA) was founded by Shirley Cress Dudley, internationally known author and conference speaker, licensed professional counselor (LPC) and nationally certified counselor (NCC)  with a master's degree in marriage and family counseling, and a master's degree in education.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Successful co-parenting possible when children are focus!

Co-parenting sometimes comes with a lot of emotional baggage and hurt feelings. Trying to figure out a new relationship with your ex-spouse can be a rollercoaster ride, especially when parents forget to put the children’s needs ahead of their own emotions. Keeping the focus on the children, while maintaining an appropriate and respectful relationship with your ex-spouse will help resolve visitation issues and keep the divorce as positive as possible. Co-parenting is necessary and can be done in a positive, sane manner when the children’s comfort is the first consideration.

Keep it sane and fair!
Co-parenting does not have to be a stressful undertaking, but sometimes ex-spouses will communicate with emotions instead of words, using any opportunity to bash one another for the failure of the marriage. After divorce, it is time to put the focus on children, and communicate only when necessary about the children. Any other communication is unnecessary and could be confusing not only to the children, but to adults, too. There is nothing more annoying than having an ex-spouse scream at you for missing a child’s softball game or band concert, but responding by yelling back will get you nowhere. Remember that your ex-spouse may be expressing feelings about you not attending the event, and that is okay, but the yelling and screaming is definitely not. Step back from the knee-jerk reaction to yell back and take a deep breath. Also, remember to stay on track with visitation, and do not cheat your ex-spouse out of their days.

Making good on your promised schedule will also keep things stable for the kids, and after a divorce this should be your primary concern. Sharing holidays with your ex-spouse is fair to the children who want to spend time with both parents during these special times. Calendars are a great way to let children know the visitation schedule in advance, and keeps them updated on any changes. Stay positive about switching days so they enjoy the time they have with you! Co-parenting without stress is possible when schedules are fair and adhered to, and emotions take a back seat.

Flexibility essential in successful co-parenting!
Co-parenting requires flexibility. Arranging two different schedules can be difficult, and adding children to the mix sometimes makes it even more complicated. When ex-spouses remember that schedule conflicts inevitably arise and are willing to cooperate, co-parenting becomes much more manageable. If schedule conflicts pop up more often than necessary, though, it is a good idea to tell the ex-spouse that you need a 30-day notice for conflicts, and then stick to your word. Co-parenting without flexibility only makes communication more stressful for everyone, and sends the wrong signal to your children.

Co-parenting is not easy, but it does not have to be a recipe for disaster, either. Two different schedules can be managed if ex-spouses keep their focus on children and avoid discussions that have nothing to do with the kids. Visitation should always be fair, and successful co-parenting considers the needs of all parties involved. That means fair to the children, as well. Calendars are a great tool to keep children updated on visitation schedules and changes. Flexibility is necessary when managing so many different schedules, because it will help keep interactions sane and amiable. Co-parenting is necessary when divorce occurs and children are involved, but it doesn’t have to be filled with negativity or stress if you keep the focus on the children.

The Blended and Step Family Resource Center offers coaching services to blended and stepfamilies, and those engaged to be married and become blended families. Other resources designed to promote strong and successful blended and stepfamilies are also available. Contact us today and let us help to provide you with answers.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The worst mistakes that can be made in a blended family

Navigating the nuances of a blended family is more than knowing what to do; it is also being aware of what not to do. Here are some of the worst mistakes:

  1. Being too affectionate with your spouse while the kids are watching
Getting used to a new step mom or step dad is difficult for kids. Holding hands is alright, but watching their dad make out on the couch with their step mom is probably a bit too much, too soon.

  1. Pretending everything is the same
A blended family is unlike a typical biological family, and it will take time for the children, and adults, to become comfortable with the arrangement. Assure your kids they everyone loves them and that their relationship with each biological parent has not changed. A step family just adds new members to love and be loved by.

  1. Treating step kids different than biological kids
It is important that all kids in the blended family are treated the same, and held to the same standards. This is especially true when it comes to birthdays and holidays. You can’t spend twice as much on your biological kids as you do your step kids.

  1. Treating your step kids as competition
There are no competitions in a blended family! Children often see a new step parent as someone who will take time away from them, and a step parent may feel as though the kids will take away time spent with their spouse. It is important that everyone knows there are no competitions or threats.

  1. Making the kids the epicenter of everything
Often times, a marriage may fail because your relationship was not the center of the home. The relationship between you and your spouse should always be the center of your blended family.

  1. You only spend time with your spouse during family time
As already stated, you have to have alone time with your spouse, each and every day, even if only for 10 minutes. Kids can draw from your strength.

  1. You eliminate discipline in your blended or step family
The common thinking is that the kids have been through a lot, with divorce, remarriage, a blended family, etc, and they have, and that they could use a break from discipline. What they need is structure, and you provide this by being consistent with house rules and privileges.

  1. You speak negatively of your ex with the kids present
This is just common sense. All adult matters should be kept from the children, regardless of how you feel about your ex.

  1. You constantly bring up the past
The past is the past; let it go! Focus on your new blended family, without reminiscing about the so-called good old days.

  1. You do not provide visiting kids with private space
Each child does not necessarily need their own room, but they should have a personal space they can call home.

By avoiding these ten mistakes, you can ensure that your blended family grows into a stellar unit over time. To get professional help with your blended family, The Blended and Step Family Resource Center is ready to assist you with tips, ideas, as well as coaching and counseling services to help your blended family become strong and successful. Get in touch with licensed professional counselors today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Planning ahead for holiday travel means less stress and more fun for the blended family!

Blended family holiday planning makes good sense. Think about it. If you are in a remarriage and your spouse is in a remarriage, and all of you have children, you are attempting to organize five different families! In stepfamilies, it is best to start this process early, well in advance of the holiday, or confusion and hurt feelings may take the place of opportunities for family bonding. In a blended family, working out details of where children will stay, how they will arrive, and when they will return to the custodial parent helps more than just the parents. Children crave stability, and when they know where they are staying and how they are getting there, it makes them feel more secure and comfortable with the blended family situation. Blended family holiday planning takes a little advance work, but the payoff is huge!

Advanced blended family holiday planning saves money and tension
Blended family holiday planning is best done early for a lot of reasons, and hopefully has been worked out as part of the custody agreement. If it has not been discussed yet, now is the time to do it before the holidays arrive and you are working it out a few days before the event. Stepfamilies often work out agreements that allow one parent to have children on even numbered years, and the other parent to have them on odd-numbered years. For instance, one parent can have the children on Christmas Eve and then they can return to the other parent on Christmas day, or later in the evening, or even the next day. What is important to children is that they get to see both mom and dad! Holiday travel is stressful and expensive, but when planned in advance it can save you money and anxiety. How are the children getting to the other parent’s house, by plane or train or car? Early reservations are less expensive, and they allow parents to make arrangements for unaccompanied children. Both Amtrak and the airlines provide an adult escort to see children through connections but you have to tell the transportation provider that children are traveling alone or you could have an uncomfortable situation on your hands at the gate. Blended family holiday planning means no surprises for you, your spouse, and most importantly, no surprises for the children!

Organize for smooth blended family travel!
Blended family holiday planning should always include lists and labels to help you stay organized. Posting a calendar for children marked with visitation dates and holiday plans will help ease transitions and keep them updated on schedules. There is no need for them to wonder when the next visit to Mom or Dad is coming up when they can look at the calendar and see the schedule well in advance. Advance planning also allows parents to avoid last minute schedule changes and thereby avoiding unnecessary conflicts. Color coordinating calendars by children is helpful in a stepfamily with more than one child in the house. If you have ever had a 16 year old come home with size 3 Batman underwear, then you already know the benefit of labeling clothing! When blended families have more than one child it is helpful to know who owns what or else you could be mailing back packages to the ex-spouse. A list of what your child is sent with, packed into the luggage helps parents know what should be packed for home. Children outgrow clothing faster than you buy it sometimes, so it is a good idea to make sure clothing still fits before labeling and packing. If packing for a week, let your ex-spouse know it may not be necessary to do laundry during their visitation. Blended family holiday planning means less headaches for parents and stepparents during busy holiday events!

Last minute checks before departure is an ounce of prevention!
Blended family holiday planning should include a luggage check before packing. Nothing is worse than losing valuables while traveling, and if luggage has holes it could happen to your child! Purchasing luggage can be costly, but checking the papers for luggage sales or looking at garage sales can help you buy new luggage for your child for much less money. Luggage tags marked with your child’s name and address are essential and will help the noncustodial parent and child identify luggage at the airport or on the train. Have medicine in appropriate containers, and make sure to write down the dosage schedule for your ex-spouse. Blended family holiday planning is well worth the effort, but could fall apart without these last minute checks!

Blended family holiday planning not only makes you and your spouse more comfortable, it offers children continuity and stability. Stepfamily organization is a preventative measure that involves open discussion well in advance of the event. Early holiday planning will help the blended family save money on travel, and allows parents to make arrangements for unescorted children with the airlines or Amtrak. Be sure you do not send your child off with clothes two sizes too small, and make sure to label their clothing for easy packing when it is time to come home. Remarriage can involve up to five families in holiday plans, so keep a calendar to help your children know where they are going and when! Last minute checks will avoid lost valuables and keep medication organized. Blended family holiday planning is an ounce of prevention that goes a long way toward smoothing the path to a happy holiday!

For more articles and advice on how to make the most out of your blended family holidays, get in touch with The Blended and Step Family Resource Center today. Professional counselors are ready to assist with coaching and counseling to help blended and step families become strong and successful.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Winter weather should not stop your blended family from bonding

Winter activities for your blended family
The weather is getting colder, and you may find yourself stuck inside with little to do. There is no better time to focus on blending your new step family. A blended family gets acquainted quicker when they actually do things together, and here are some great ideas.

Family projects
Cold, winter weather is a great time to tidy up the guest bedroom, garage or attic. You can assign individual tasks to each member, yet encourage everyone to work as a team. This could also be a good chance to have the kids clean out their bedrooms. You can give each child two garbage bags: one for trash and one for donations. Once the room is tidied up, let that same team follow up by vacuuming and dusting the room. As each project is completed, have a celebration that includes something like a special dinner.

Provide opportunities for step kids to connect with each other
Have a table set up with board games, Wii, Xbox or PlayStation games. Even something as simple as checkers can get everyone involved. Another great idea is to begin, and leave out, a large puzzle for the winter. No one will be able to stroll past it without stopping to find a few pieces. Once they sit down to check it out, it is much easier for a step mom or step dad to sit down and join in the fun. This can be a great bonding activity for a blended family or step family.

The point is, regardless of what the kids are actually doing, whether it is work or fun, they are interacting with each other and bonding as a blended family. This bonding could certainly happen by itself, but why not present more opportunities for it to happen?

Start planning summer trips
It does not matter that winter is here. It may be cold today, but there is no better time to start talking about taking a vacation together as a family. Make a trip to the library and gather some brochures and information on places you and your kids may like to visit. Discuss which types of trips interest everyone. Is your family the active kind that would enjoy a backpacking trip? Would they enjoy the pampering of an all-inclusive resort more? There are many affordable cruises to consider as well, and most offer non-stop family activities. Of course, the final decision will be made by the adults, but it always makes sense to gather as much input as you can from every member of your step family.

This is a great way for step siblings to discover how much they have in common, as they discuss their own likes and dislikes. Once you establish what everyone is interested in, as well as what they would not enjoy, you then want to research what would work best for the schedule and budget of your blended family. Keep in mind that embarking on a more costly vacation does not necessarily mean you will have more fun or that you care more about your children. Your children will cherish this special time with you, and not care about what it cost. The goal is to create positive memories. Great memories of time spent with parents who care about them and step brothers and sisters who are a new part of their blended family.

The Blended and Step Family Resource Center has resources including licensed professional counselors who offer coaching to blended and stepfamilies, with the purpose of helping blended families become strong and successful.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Your guide to the holidays with a blended family

Everyone has extra needs when the holiday season rolls around, but none more so than those who are part of a blended family. Set aside some time to talk to all the members of your immediate stepfamily. Laying out a plan for holiday events before they happen can save everyone in your blended family from stress and irritation. With Christmas coming up, we can use it as an example.

Work out a schedule with your ex that carries you up to January 3rd. Once you have that schedule hammered out, make it known that no changes will be allowed unless there is an emergency. Figure out who will get the kids each year, and try to alternate each holiday. If you had the kids for Thanksgiving this year and your ex has them for Christmas, then make note that next year, your ex should have them for Thanksgiving and they join you at Christmas.

The holidays are a crazy time for everyone, including the children, so make sure you don’t overbook yourself. Allow the kids some special time with mom or dad, or even step mom or step dad, if they like. You also want to leave some time slots open for some special time just for you and your spouse. Couple time is very important to your marriage, and even during the very busy times of the holidays, you still need to set aside time to be together, without the kids.

Make sure the kids are prepared
Talk with your kids about how they have two homes now and should feel blessed to have a dad, mom, step dad and a step mom who love them very much. You can make out a calendar just for them, so they know exactly how the holidays will work with your new step family. Make sure they have all the information they need, including when they will be going where, how they will get there and back, etc. Speak of your ex in a positive light to them, and let them know that you are happy they will be spending a holiday with their other parent.

Extended family
Your extended family may need some rules to be laid out, and this includes aunts, uncles and grandparents. Everyone should be treated fairly as far as gifts, and if that has to mean that everyone receives less, then so be it. All the children in the blended family, including all biological kids and step kids, should be treated equally.

Celebration times and meals
Thanksgiving is on a Thursday every year, but that doesn’t mean you have to celebrate it on that day. Make a different plan. For many people, celebrating Christmas on an alternate day with the non-custodial parent on the following weekend, or even the weekend prior, works. The kids will not care about the actual day; they just want to enjoy a celebration with their mom and dad.

Be different
So, everyone serves turkey for Thanksgiving, right? That may be true, but there is no law saying that you have to serve it. This is especially true if you are celebrating your turkey day on the following weekend. Kids are picky eaters, and they love variety. They will love something different if they just had a turkey dinner two or three days earlier.  Start creating your own traditions by making holidays a little different.  Following these guidelines will help make the holidays peaceful and joyous in your blended family.

If you want to know more about managing holiday events with your blended family, and make these special time memorable and worthwhile, check out articles and advice in The Blended and Step Family Resource Center website, or talk to a licensed professional counselor by calling today.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Avoid fussing and get down to fun with blended family holiday management tips!

Blended family holiday management is essential well before the holidays arrive in order to set up clear expectations and avoid frustration with what should be special family time. Talking with ex-spouses and extended family about the details of each holiday event, including who the children are spending time with and whether or not to exchange gifts, is essential planning that will avoid hurt feelings and unexpected surprises. These blended family holiday management tips will help make these holidays memorable and peaceful for every family member.

Who goes where over holidays should be worked out in advance for blended family
Blended family holiday management requires sharing of children’s holiday time with ex-spouses. Get together with your ex-spouse and discuss the children’s schedule from now until January 3, and then make sure there are no changes to the plans unless there is an emergency. Working out a holiday schedule that exchanges the children on special holidays every year will help ensure that each spouse spends this special time with the children, and avoids hurt feelings. For example, one year mom will get the children at Thanksgiving, and the next year dad gets them. Make sure you reinforce to children how lucky they are to have a mom and dad and stepparents who love them very much, and then sit down with them and show them the calendar schedule. Make sure to talk to the kids about how they will get to their holiday location, whether on plane, train, car, etc. Blended family holiday management done positively, with expressions of happiness at the time your children will get to spend with extended family at mom’s house or dad’s house, will ease any fears or anxiety children have about splitting time between mom and dad.

Remember to manage extended family expectations at holiday time
Blended family holiday management does not restrict itself to immediate family members; extended family members should also know what you expect. Remind bio-relatives that you would like all children, stepkids and bio kids, treated fairly. Grandma can purchase smaller gifts, but she must remember that all the children should be treated the same. If relatives are uncooperative, then there are two options to consider. The first option is to tell them that you will not exchange gifts this year because they are unwilling to be fair. The second choice, and it is not my favorite, is to plan a separate celebration of bio relatives at another time, when stepkids are not home, and exchange gifts with bio-relatives. The second choice is not a personal preference because it allows bio-relatives to avoid the new stepfamily. If there is no cooperation, though, this may be the only way to avoid a battle and keep the family peace. Ask your kids to not discuss the gift exchange with step-siblings when they return, as it may hurt their feelings. Blended family holiday management is sometimes tricky when bio-relatives are difficult, but advance preparation can avoid uncomfortable surprises.

Break with holiday tradition and make new traditions with your blended family!
Blended family holiday management may mean breaking with tradition and celebrating Thanksgiving on a Saturday or Christmas on December 26.That is okay! Dates are just days of the week, they can be moved to accommodate schedules, and besides, the most important thing to your child is time with both mom and dad. The same can be said for holiday meals. Eating turkey twice in one day is not anyone’s idea of a good time, so why not serve appetizers and mini-desserts when the children return from Thanksgiving at your ex-spouse’s house? Plan a seafood buffet or pasta meal for Christmas instead of ham. Breaking with holiday traditions as a part of blended family holiday management means stepfamilies can begin their own traditions, form new bonds, and make new memories!

Blended family holiday management should begin now, before the holidays arrive and there is no time to negotiate schedules and prepare children. Sharing children’s holiday time with an ex-spouse does not have to be stressful if you agree to share time equally, exchanging holidays every year and arranging events well in advance. Breaking with holiday traditions and scheduling holiday events on different days then they fall on is fine! What is important to children is that they know they will see both mom and dad during this special time. Blended family holiday management is the smart way to avoid holiday upset.

The Blended and Step Family Resource Center was established to assist blended families with its counseling and coaching services, as well as other resources aimed at promoting strong and successful blended and stepfamilies. Get in touch with a licensed professional counselor today and let us help to provide you with answers.