An 40% of married couples with children in the U.S. are stepparents, and for these blended families holidays can cause more stress than joy. Sheri Atwood, founder of SupportPay – a mobile app for separated parents and stepparents to track/manage shared child expenses, offers these five holiday and divorce tips to help families enjoy the holidays this year.
Communicate With Your Kids
Most kids handle new situations better when they know what to expect ahead of time. Have a holiday plan in place you and your ex agree, and share it with your kids right away.
Make Plans For Yourself
There will be times throughout the holiday season when your kids are with your ex. Make sure you plan time with friends or family for yourself and show kids a brave face. You don’t want them to feel guilty while they’re with the other parent.
Avoid Gift Competition.
Giving gifts can quickly get out of hand, when parents try to “Out-Santa” one another. Instead of going crazy with toys, focus on giving them an experience instead. Concert tickets or zoo passes or amusement park tickets, can create lasting memories.
Make New Traditions
One of the hardest parts of the holidays after divorce is the traditions. Do you continue traditions you once did as a family but without your ex? Do you start new traditions? The answer lies somewhere in between.
Don’t Overdo The Holiday Weekends
Now that there are two families spending time with the same kids on holiday weekends, there are suddenly double the activities. Make a plan with your ex ahead of time and try not to overschedule activities between the two households.