Tips for Surviving Mixed-Family Gatherings

Have a Happy Holiday with These Tips for Blended Families

The holidays are a time for love, cheer and family. But what happens when there are mixed families with four parents, four sets of grandparents, extended family members, children and stepchildren gathering together? If you’re thinking chaos is sure to ensue, let the family lawyers at the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates help your holiday get-togethers run smoothly and be more enjoyable for you, your children, your stepchildren and your ex. Here is a list of tips for blended families during the holidays from your friendly neighborhood Gainesville divorce lawyers.

Stress-Free Holidays for Everyone in the Mixed Family

  • Your Child’s Comfort: Divorce leads to the creation of new families that children must adapt to. It is common for a child to feel out of place when he/she spends the holidays at the house of a stepparent and even more so if there are step-siblings who reside at the home. Because of this, it is important to make sure your child feels welcome by all members. It is also normal for your child to miss the other parent and to want to make contact. Don’t discourage it — it is nothing against you! Sharing the holidays with family is natural, and your ex-spouse is still the biological parent of your child. Create a healthy, accepting environment by allowing your child to talk on the phone with his/her other parent.
  • Gift Giving: Shopping for presents is already a stressful activity, but the act of gift giving can become much more complicated in a blended family because of the extra family members to shop for. Take your children out shopping and help pick out a gift for their stepparent. It will help your children get an item that is more personal, and it will mean a lot more for the recipient, too. It is also a good idea to help them buy a gift for their biological parent. Also, if your child has stepsiblings be mindful about equality in the gifts. Try to keep quality and price relatively close as disproportionate gifts could leave one of them feeling like the other gets preference.
  • Plan Ahead & Communicate: When sharing custody of your child, it is very important to create a schedule and stick to it. This will reduce the risk of arguments and stress on you, your ex and your child. It is also important to let your children know with whom, when and where they will be spending time. Most of all, don’t over schedule. Everyone will want to spend as much time together as possible this holiday season, but it’s important to consider travel time and preparations. If you and your ex-spouse live more than an hour away from each other, you won’t want to waste the holiday traveling every few days.
  • Have Fun & Be Open to Change: The holiday season is a time for joy, so don’t hamper spirits with arguing and fighting. Your children will appreciate your ability to put aside disagreements with your ex-spouse. Also, don’t be afraid to deviate from steadfast traditions. It is hard to keep some traditions when starting or joining a blended family. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot create new traditions. After all, great traditions turn into great memories!

Gainesville Family Lawyers

The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates cares about you and your family. We realize the holidays, while great, can also have complications. We offer these tips to you as a gift to help you and your children have a more memorable and enjoyable holiday season. For any legal matters regarding divorce or child custody, contact our divorce attorneys in Gainesville, FL.