The holidays are often stressful for those going through a divorce, particularly if the divorce is still in progress or it is the first holiday season after the divorce. When children are involved, parents may dread the upcoming season as we face Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or other holidays.
Parents need to focus on what is best for their children and how to make it a pleasant time for them as they all adjust to the new family dynamic. Instead of thinking about what has been lost, work on making new holiday traditions.
Tips for Helping Your Children Enjoy the Holiday Season
Parents need to plan ahead about when each parent will be spending time with the children. Depending on the age of the children, they may have input on where they want to be in order to spend time with their friends. This might not be much of an issue this COVID holiday season when people are staying in and selectively meeting with friends and family. But remember, the point is for the children to have a good time and have fun during their time off from school.
Put the happiness of the children over your own. Communicate with your spouse or ex-spouse about:
- What is going to happen over the holidays?
- Who is going to have the children at which times?
- How the exchanges will be made?
Let the children know the schedule in advance so they know what to expect. If you will be staying home, plan to watch holiday television specials or holiday concerts together. Get in the holiday spirit by decorating your home, baking holiday treats, or listening to holiday music.
You may want to develop some new family traditions. Plan holiday events you have thought about doing but have not yet done. Pick your pumpkins at a pumpkin patch or find your way through a corn-field maze. Cut down your own Christmas tree or go to a Christmas tree lighting. See the lights for Hanukkah.
Be flexible. It is easy to get upset and unintentionally put a damper on the holidays, especially when you are going through the stress of divorce. For example, if one of the children gets sick, or something else unexpected happens, plans may change. Be ready for it and try to make the best of it without sabotaging the season for the children.
Take Care of Your Self
You may feel sad during times the children are not with you, but you don’t have to be lonely. Use this time to reach out to other family members and friends. Connect with those folks, whether in-person or virtually. Do something to pamper yourself. And take a vacation if you can or just take some time off from work.
Whittemore Law Firm is dedicated to helping clients navigate difficult family law issues. Whittemore Law Firm serves clients in The Woodlands, Conroe, Montgomery County, Houston, Harris County, and throughout the surrounding area. If you need help, Whittemore Law Firm can help you protect your rights and the rights of your children. For a free 20-minute consultation, contact the Whittemore Law Firm at 832-215-3706