Most separated couples that have shared child custody of their children will agree that the first set of holidays after divorce are the most difficult to navigate. In time, the process gets easier, but the first few holidays can be challenging to navigate.
Focus on Stability for the Children
Going through a divorce can be hard for the children, even if both partners agree it is for the best. Whenever it is possible, they should concentrate on making the transition simpler for them, especially during holiday events.
Focusing on a stable environment is good for the parents because it forces them to learn how to co-parent effectively. It also allows children to have a stable home and a consistent schedule.
Be Aware That Children May Disagree with Holiday Plans
Parents are often surprised by their children’s reactions to Thanksgiving plans. The children might not want to do anything at all, or they might resist going to one parent’s festivities. Also, children may become bitter and silent if they do not agree with the plans.
Parents should be understanding about the children’s needs, but it also important to remain firm about plans. Having children talk with a therapist before the holiday can be helpful for keeping everyone on a positive track.
Do Not Make Children Feel Guilty
Children should never feel as if they are the reason for a parent being sad or angry during Thanksgiving. Parents should not guilt their children into staying with them during Thanksgiving rather than following a pre-arranged plan. Doing so puts tremendous pressure on the children, which is an unfair burden.
If a parent cannot see their children on Thanksgiving, the parent will naturally be disappointed. However, virtual programs make it easier for young children to stay in touch with both parents, even if they cannot be in the same room together.
Consider Having Different Thanksgiving Celebrations
Although Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated on one day, it can be celebrated any time. This means children can enjoy Thanksgiving meals and visits with relatives throughout the extended weekend, rather than forcing them to miss seeing their loved ones because of a divorce situation.
Although this may lead to busy schedules, everyone will be able to celebrate. Making these arrangements will require the cooperation of other family members, so any alterations in classic Thanksgiving meal plans should be discussed at least a week ahead of time.
Keep Some Traditions and Make New Ones
The holidays are all about traditions in most households. Children get accustomed to those traditions and look forward to them every year. Older children may miss certain traditions. To help the children adjust, certain traditions should be kept.
Young children and teenagers can be brought into the conversation in terms of newer traditions. For instance, they may still want to bake cookies with at least one parent the night before Thanksgiving. This is a doable request that does not require both parents.
Mental Health is Important
Everyone should focus on their mental health, especially after a divorce. Getting therapy or just taking a few days off work to spend time with loved ones can make a huge difference. Practicing self-care around Thanksgiving is vital for newly divorced adults.
Consider Attending at Least One Thanksgiving Meal
It can be tempting to avoid anything holiday related after a divorce. However, being closed off from people can backfire and lead to increased feelings of anger, isolation, and sadness. Attending at least one Thanksgiving dinner can help break up the day. It can also make the holiday feel a little more normal. Sometimes, friends like to have their own Thanksgiving festivities. These types of laid-back events can be good ways to decompress.
Do Something to Help Others
An uplifting way to deal with divorce is to help the less fortunate. Volunteering at a local shelter or food bank redirects negativity. Additionally, it has the benefit of doing something good for someone else who is also hurting or having difficulties.
Many people who have recently gone through a divorce become actively involved with community-based organizations. One huge advantage to volunteering throughout the holidays is that it opens doors to meeting new friends.
If one is considering a divorce, they should talk to a lawyer about what to anticipate. That way, they can build a plan for how to handle expected and unforeseen issues during the holidays, especially if children are involved.A lawyer can offer a client invaluable information and share resources with them.
Bel Air Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients Navigate the Holidays After Divorce
If you are considering a divorce, one of our Bel Air divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help you. We understand that divorce can be challenging, and we will help you with all of your concerns. Call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online for a free consultation today. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.