Children eagerly await the holiday season as a time of joy and wonderment. But that spirit can be jeopardized when family traditions must change due to a divorce or separation. The new reality can be just as tough on parents as their children.
But co-parents can help kids adapt by focusing on new traditions that emphasize the family’s unique bond and enduring connection. A positive and united approach, devoid of conflict, fosters stability, which in turn helps your children focus on the joy of the holiday season.
When life changes, so should your planning
A common miscalculation is trying to keep the holiday season exactly the same after a divorce or separation. That puts immense pressure on co-parents. The answer is not to abandon family traditions but to work together to adapt. Here are some ways to start new traditions:
- First of all, talk! Set aside time to speak with your ex and discuss traditions that are important to you and your kids and how they can change.
- Schedule alone time with your child. Plan a new activity that may turn into a new tradition or continue one you already share but in a new way.
- Expand your celebrations to include relatives or close friends who love your children. This can be especially comforting during this time of transition.
- Encourage your kids to join in on creating new traditions. Having a say can help them adjust. You might even assign them a beloved task, such as handing out gifts or putting up holiday decorations.
You and your ex may want to discuss rotating holidays each year, but don’t forget to consult your visitation arrangement. Above all, planning for your new family dynamic is crucial. Keep your children in the loop, so no last-minute changes catch them unawares. While traditions may evolve, a child’s sense of joy and security can be enhanced when parents work together.