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Stepfamilies and the Holiday Season

Stepfamilies and the Holiday Season

Many important and complex legal matters, such as matters involving child custody or child visitation, can come up when a divorced parent with children remarries. A remarriage can also give rise to major emotional issues for all of the parties involved, including: the remarrying parent, their ex, their children, the person they are marrying and their new stepchildren (if the person they are marrying also has kids). One time of the year in particular that can be an emotionally tricky time for new stepfamilies and the individuals connected to them is the holiday season.

Recently, an article on the Huffington Post's website gave some holiday season tips for divorced parents who have recently remarried.

Some of these tips regarded organization and communication. Setting up clear plans regarding the holidays, such as having schedules in place regarding where the children will be during the holidays, can help increase the predictability of the holiday season. Clear communication with all parties involved when it comes to holiday plans can also help when it comes to predictability. Predictability can be very valuable at times of great change, such as the time following the formation of a new stepfamily.

Other of the tips regarded taking efforts to have the right attitude and demeanor going into the holidays. Specifically, the article suggested trying to: stay positive, be self-compassionate, avoid expressions of anger against one's ex-spouse when with one's children and avoid letting emotions lead to rash actions. Having the right attitude and demeanor can affect a person and all those around them in a very positive way.

The article also gave tips regarding holiday traditions. Such traditions are often a major part of the holiday season for families. The article recommended keeping some past family traditions and also starting some new ones. Such an approach can keep some of the familiarity of the holidays for children, while also giving them the chance to form new experiences with their new stepfamily.

As this shows, there are many things that parents that are starting a new stepfamily can do to try to help make the holiday season emotionally easier for everyone involved.

While the holiday season can be difficult for stepfamilies at times, it can also contain moments of great joy and fun. We hope that all families here in Arizona, including stepfamilies, have a wonderful holiday season this year.

Source: The Huffington Post, "10 Tips For Navigating The Holidays With Your Stepfamily," Terry Gaspard, Dec. 19, 2013

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