Keeping The Holidays Stress-Free
The holiday season can be very tough on divorced parents, both custodial and noncustodial alike. If you’re newly divorced, you may be wondering which of your old family traditions to keep and which you could start as your own. If you’ve been divorced for some time, you may already be dreading the seasonal shuffle of having to share holidays and keep track of the parenting schedule. However, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve signed your final paperwork, the holidays are bound to come with some challenges.
One of the most important things you can do during this season is keep communication open between you and your children and your ex, if possible. Take some time before the holidays begin and talk with your children about their fears and what’s important to them. Continue to check in periodically. Divorced parents are often surprised at what their children really want or need out of the holiday season, and a great deal of stress can be avoided by making expectations and goals clear from the start.
As difficult as it may be, it’s almost important for you to be positive about your children spending time with your ex. It’s hard to be separated from your children during this time of family celebrations, but acting disappointed or put out when it’s time for your children to visit with your ex just makes the situation more stressful for all involved.
It can also be a good idea to take some time to reflect after the holidays are over as well. Think about what worked and what didn’t or any situations that were particularly stressful. Consider making a plan with your ex — and even getting it put into the official court order — for how you will handle these aspects differently next year.
Source: Huffington Post Canada, “15 Tips for Managing a Divorce Over Christmas,” Alyson Jones, accessed Dec. 17, 2015