If you recently finalized your divorce, getting through your first holiday season with the children will present some new challenges you must learn to field your way through. Although you and your spouse are no longer a couple, you are both still parents and share a common goal in caring for the wellbeing of your children. Therefore, it is your responsibility to work together as a team to help them navigate the holiday season as smoothly as possible.
Putting Your Children’s Needs First
It might not be easy to work with your spouse and, when the situation gets stressful, you might even feel like giving up, but it is crucial to put your children’s needs first and learn to cooperate for their sake. The first holiday season after a divorce is often one of the most difficult for children. They might exhibit a vast range of emotions, from angry and sad to disappointed or confused. Be ready to listen to them and let them know that what they are feeling is normal and valid.
Here are some other ways in which you can help your children cope with this difficult time:
- Hold onto some traditions and be willing to let go of others: It is not always possible to hold onto old family traditions in the aftermath of a divorce, so do not get down on yourself if you have to change things up this year. To help your children cope with the changes, give them the opportunity to partake in creating new family traditions.
- Do not make a fuss over minor changes to the schedule: For your family, this is a first-time experience, so you will likely run into a few obstacles as you try to navigate your way through the holiday season. If you have to make a few minor changes to the holiday parenting schedule, try not to get upset about it, especially if it does not conflict with your plans. You can swap days or find another way to ensure you still get to spend quality time with the kids.
- Do not compete with each other: Attempts to one-up your co-parent through gift-giving will only create more tension and hostility, which is the worst thing you can do for your children. Give your children the gift of a peaceful and loving Christmas by coordinating with your co-parent to ensure the presents you buy are age-appropriate and do not stir up any unnecessary drama. Moreover, this will also ensure you do not purchase any duplicate gifts.
- Be prepared: When we think of the holiday season, we tend to think of fun winter activities, shopping, or attending a Christmas parade. However, your children might not be up for the usual activities this year, so be prepared to stay in if that is what they need. Get some hot chocolate, marshmallows, and binge some holiday-themed movies with them instead.
Discuss Your Case with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney!
If you are experiencing difficulties with your child custody arrangement or holiday parenting plan, contact the team at Kallen Law Firm, LLC for the fierce legal representation you deserve. No family law matter is too complex for our team to handle.
Get started on your case today and contact our law office at (314) 441-7793 to arrange a free consultation.