Holidays are supposed to be a joyous occasion when families come together... right?
When a parent remarries, he or she attempts to begin a perfect “blended family." Television shows like The Brady Bunch and Modern Family may make it look easy; but they do not realistically portray the challenges with which most parents find themselves dealing. Since the Holidays are particularly stressful, all of your family issues can come to a head.
During these holiday celebrations, a step-child may feel like an outsider. He or she may be uncomfortable in family situations, and even have an obligated desire to "take a stand," since loyalty lies with the other parent.
With all of the pressure and differences, maybe there shouldn't be the expectation to "blend."
Step-families can come together at their own pace and in their own way.
Dr. Patricia Papernow, EdD, is the author of, Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships. In the book she draws on current research, a wide variety of clinical modalities and 30 years of clinical work with step-family members to describe the challenges faced, as well as plausible solutions.