Surviving the Holidays after Divorce

Holidays and special occasions are often a time of sadness and stress for many divorced parents, but it doesn’t have to be that way. After all, it’s important to remember that while you want to spend the holidays with your children, your ex also wants to do the same too. Although in a perfect world, families would find a way to harmoniously find a schedule that works for everyone, many times this simply doesn’t happen. Here’s a few tips to surviving the holidays after your divorce finishes:

Remember Children Want to See Everyone

Too often parents engage in a battle of tug-of-war with their children, trying to have as much time with their children as possible. While this is with the best intention, many times children feel guilty for wanting to see the other parent during the holiday season. Remember that your kids enjoy seeing the other parent, just as much as they enjoy seeing you.

Change the Situation Around

When trying to come up with a holiday schedule that works for both families, try switching the schedule around and see how you’d feel about it. Regardless of where the child typically resides, both parents enjoy seeing their children and feeling included in their life. If you wouldn’t be happy with the schedule reversed, look at making the arrangements a little nicer for both sides.

Offer a Switch if it’s Easier

Many times parents want to spend every holiday with their children; remember that co-parenting means looking at a situation and helping determine what would be best for your children (not you) overall. Divide the holidays up between the two of you, taking importance and religion into the equation. If you don’t celebrate Christmas yet your partner is a devout Catholic, consider giving Christmas eve to them. Remember, it’s not the specific date that’s important, it’s the holiday season.

Ask for Advice

If you think your ex is being unreasonable, consider asking a friend for advice. While you shouldn’t drag anyone into the relationship, creating a schedule and having a friend review it might help you see things from another perspective. Start by writing out the holiday arrangements without the house names of the holiday division. Ask your friend whether she thinks the schedule seems fair and truly listen to her answers. Chances are, if she can’t see who gets the kids when, she’ll be less biased toward an answer you want to hear.

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