When you are in a family that has divorced or is in the process of divorcing, the stress level of the holidays increases ten-fold. The devastating truth is that children often feel like they need to pick a side, go with a certain parent, and not share their true feelings and needs.
By feeling this way children, no matter their age, often dread the holiday season, and their anxiety goes off the charts.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are a few suggestions we have given our clients on how to share the holidays with their ex that will decrease many of the stressors your family unit may be experiencing:
- During your collaborative divorce process put a holiday schedule in place
- Work with your ex to find solutions that benefit everyone
- Don’t talk disparagingly to your kids about your ex
- Ask your children what they need to make their holidays less stressful
- Allow the children to communicate with the other parent while they are with you
- Lower your expectations – it goes a long way when you can let go of trying to create the perfect holiday
- If possible, create a family outing or activity together – it doesn’t have to be grand
- Remember, when the children get older, they will not find comfort and peace in the grand gestures – it’s the simple moments they will cherish
Coming together as a divorced family can be very healing for everyone. When children understand that you and your ex-partner are committed to co-parenting in a way that doesn’t tear the family apart, they can let their guard down, be themselves and enjoy their holiday.
A Better DivorceTM is an interdisciplinary group of professionals committed to non-court, non-confrontational solutions for family law matters.
Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax/or mental health advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, mental health or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.