Organising Christmas is big task for all families and for those of us managing blended families (one in three) we have extra dimensions that need to considered when trying to make it a positive time for our children.
Consider some of the following suggestions;
- Come together as a family and decide what you would all like to do for Christmas. It is important that children are also able to voice their feelings and share what they would like for Christmas.
- If children are having to move between families. Alternate the Christmas holiday so children can share their time with both families.
- It is often difficult to put our feelings to one side when communicating with an ex-partner. Try not to take arrangements personally and keep a positive focus on plans, especially in our communications with children. For example, if your ex-partner says they can only see their child/children briefly on Christmas Day, try not to see this an indication that they do not care. Following on from Christmas, maybe discuss with them that next year they will need to spend a longer period with their child/children. This approach will feel more constructive and positive and may help with putting feelings of frustration, resentment and anger to one side.
- Of course, long-standing issues may still exist between ex-partners but Christmas is not a time when these can necessarily be sorted out. As we know it is a stressful enough time of year and where possible these causes of up-set can be approached again in the new-year.
- Look to friends to talk to and share your feelings with. You may have other friends who are facing similar challenges within their own families and realising that others are also experiencing similar difficulties to you can help you to feel less alone. Your friends may have ideas for solutions that have worked for them and their families.
- If you are really struggling though it may be a good idea to seek help from a professional such as a counsellor or other professionals that might already be involved with your family.
Author: Frances Davies – Bespoke Practitioners