How to Handle the Holidays as a Divorced Parent
The holidays are a magical time of year but they can also be difficult – especially if you are a divorced parent. Sometimes the holidays can bring up painful memories and it can be a challenge to navigate multiple holiday celebrations with different members of the family. Keep reading to receive some tips for handling the holidays as a divorced parent. Divorced Parent Tips for Handling the Holidays
As a parent, it is your job to make sure that your child has everything he needs and sometimes (especially around the holidays) that means making sacrifices. Unfortunately, many parents forget this around the holidays and they get wrapped up in a competition with their ex for who can give their kids the best holiday. Here are some common mistakes that you should make every effort to avoid around the holidays:
• If you haven’t gotten divorced yet, don’t wait until after the holidays. If your relationship has deteriorated to the point that you are filing for divorce, remaining with your ex until after the holidays could be bad for everyone – it will just add to the stress which could have a negative effect on your kids.
• Don’t get caught up in the tiny details – think about the big picture. If you and your ex want equal time with the kids around the holidays, you may end up celebrating a day early or late. Just remember that it doesn’t matter when you plan your holiday celebration, it just matters that you are with the ones you love.
• Cut yourself some slack. After a divorce, many parents become obsessed about making things “perfect” for their kids. A few years down the line your kids won’t remember how you trimmed the tree or whether the holiday ham was perfectly cooked – they will remember the time they spent with you.
If you want to make sure that the holidays are a happy time for everyone involved, you are going to need to plan ahead and be prepared for some challenges. Here are some things to think about to help you make sure that the holidays remain a wonderful time of year for your kids:
• Talk to your ex ahead of time about how you are going to divide the holidays with your kids – will you alternate every other year or will you split each holiday so you both get to spend time with the kids?
• Avoid fighting about the holidays – especially in front of the kids. Even if you are your ex are not on the best of terms, fighting will only make the holidays more stressful for everyone.
• Be upfront and honest with your kids about holiday plans – make sure they know who they will be spending certain days with and make sure they are okay with those plans.
• Help your kids buy gifts for their other parent – even if it is hard, you want to show your kids that you still respect your ex and that family is still important even if you are not always together.
• Be flexible. Things come up unexpectedly and you may have to change your plans but it is important that you roll with the punches instead of letting it ruin your holiday with the kids.
These are just a few of the many things you can do to make the holidays as enjoyable as possible for yourself, your kids, and your family as a whole. It is important to keep an open mind and to handle the holidays with as much grace as possible. Even if you end up making a few sacrifices, it is worth it to ensure that your children have happy holiday memories – the important thing is that you all get to make those memories together.
~ Glen Community Support