The holidays are here and it is time to celebrate the season with family and friends. Parties, holiday get-togethers and participating in a variety of activities are all part of life as people celebrate the days between Thanksgiving and the New Year. While this is a joyous time for many, it can prove challenging and stressful for divorced parents who need to agree upon what is best for their kids.
As children affected by divorce attempt to adjust to new ways of living, the holidays can stir up memories of what used to be. This may cause kids to feel sad or lonely as they yearn for the familiar. Parents need to be mindful of how their children are feeling and take steps to help them enjoy the holiday season.
- First and foremost, adults must put aside their own feelings and issues in order to make their children’s well-being the primary focus. Maintaining an argument-free environment will make things much less stressful, especially during what can be an emotional time for everyone.
- Plans for the holidays should be negotiated and determined well in advance in order for children to know what to expect. Downtime should also be planned. The holidays can be extremely busy, especially if children are moving back and forth between households. Good communication will also prevent misunderstandings about where the children should be at a given time.
- Parents should avoid asking their kids to choose whom they wish to spend the holidays with. Oftentimes children who are asked to pick where they want to be feel as though they are being disloyal to the other parent.
- Creating new holiday traditions can be a good way to get kids to enjoy their present situations and not dwell on memories from the past.
- Parents should be open to compromise as they negotiate plans for the holidays. It is important for them to realize and accept that there will be parts of the season that will need to be spent without their children.
- Taking time for one’s self is also important in order to ensure good mental and physical health.
Although it may not always be easy, managing to co-parent peacefully through the holidays during a divorce will prove highly beneficial for everyone, especially children.
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