Holidays are upon us and many parents who are divorced or going through the divorce process do not feel as merry and bright as presented in songs of the season. Parents, who are often reeling emotionally from their breakup, are now charged with the task of making this a fun time for their children.
This is part one of our suggestions for how you can enjoy the holiday season and develop new traditions.
Spend the Holidays Together
In an ideal situation, parents can set aside their adversity for a few days and celebrate the holidays with the same traditions they had before the divorce. The children have gone through a lot of turmoil over the family splitting up and if they can have both parents in their lives during this holiday season, it would be very special for them.
Of course, this may not be possible for every family. If the idea of spending holiday time with your ex and the children is overwhelmingly emotional, do not feel guilty about it. Just focus on how to best divide the time in ways that focus on the children and how you can all enjoy this holiday time.
Work Out a Holiday Schedule with Your Co-Parent That is in the Best Interest of the Children
Parents can still make the holidays special for their children by working out a holiday schedule that maximizes their time with the children and keeps family traditions alive when possible. If you customarily spend Christmas Eve with your extended family, and Christmas morning with your ex’s extended family, agree to follow that custom this year.
As for Thanksgiving dinner, you can agree that one parent might spend Thanksgiving Day with the children and the other can postpone Thanksgiving festivities and celebrate on another day of the holiday weekend.
When you make your holiday schedule, always consider the best interest of the children—not your own wants and needs. Get input from your children about what they want to do. They may have events with friends they want to participate in and it may mean they need to be at the home of one parent or the other in order to do so. Accommodate the desires of the children as much as possible.