For most people, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration. However, if you are a divorced parent, the holidays can be a source of stress and sadness. This is particularly true if your divorce was recent.
There is no roadmap to happiness during the holidays, but taking the right actions can help you make the most of them. U.S. News & World Report offers these tips to ensure divorced parents can navigate this season as smoothly as possible.
You and your ex should have a clear plan of attack going into the holidays. Decide when the kids will be with you and when they are schedule to be with your ex. Consider splitting up the holidays so you both get to spend equal time. Do not put off conversations until the last minute, or you will be left stressed and scrambling.
Put your children first
Most divorced couples have ill-feelings towards one another. While this is natural, you cannot let these feelings get in the way of what matters, i.e. your kids. Think about what is best for them when making decisions. For example, prohibiting your kids from spending time with their parent because you are upset at them punishes your children unfairly. It may also go against court orders, which can get you in legal trouble.
Do not inundate your kids with questions
When your kids return home from your ex’s house, keep questions to a minimum. Ask if they had fun and what presents they received, but do not quiz them on your former spouse’s new partner or other delicate topics. When you put kids in the middle, you put undue pressure on them. This can cause a rift between you, and also impact their relationship with the other parent.