Holiday stress is magnified as you navigate divorce. Take the right steps to make them bright ones for youngsters. Review your final divorce orders and temporary agreements now to see what they say about holiday schedules. Holidays have been on calendars for 2000 years, so don’t wait to determine if there is a disagreement. If there is any disagreement, get to mediation or court now.
Eliminate the guilt children feel about enjoying time with the other parent. Put them at ease by encouraging them to celebrate at both homes and with both families. Extended family should also be directed to encourage joy with the “other side” despite feelings of animosity.
Alone for a day? Enjoy the time alone or make a new tradition with friends. Don’t let your children feel concerned about you.
- Holidays can be celebrated any day. Children care about the memories you make not which day you make them. Thanksgiving celebrated on Thursday and Friday may be better than two dinners on Thursday for them.
- Focus on your children and you more than the demands of the extended family. If your children can’t go to your family event, enjoy the time yourself, knowing you will all be together next year. Don’t make the children feel sad about missing a party.
- Engage in meaningful activities as a family. Help serve meals for a local organization, shop for gifts for a needy family, or have a board game, craft or baking day.
- Arrange for simple gifts from the children to the other parent. Children may need some assistance with crafts or purchases but encourage them to choose and wrap the gift.
Wakeman Law Group
741 S. McHenry Avenue
Crystal Lake, IL 60014