Welcome back and thanks for joining us. As we get closer to the holidays, we get more and more calls from parents considering divorce, who aren’t sure how the holidays will be impacted by the breakup of their families. We also talk with many clients who are in the midst of divorces and concerned about how their kids will handle the holidays, now that the family structure has changed. It can be a very stressful subject.
As we pointed out in our previous article, adjusting to major change in the family is hard, but you can do it. There are several things that divorced (and divorcing) parents can do to make the holidays less stressful, and more enjoyable for their children. We’ve already covered the importance of traditions, and why you should present ideas in a certain way to your kids. So let’s move on to the nest two on the list.
“Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store.”
- How the Grinch stole Christmas
Divorced parents often struggle with feelings of guilt during the holidays. It’s supposed to be a time when families come together, and when your family is falling apart, it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit. And divorced parents know that their kids are sad about the family breakup (especially during the holidays!) So they sometimes overcompensate for the divorce by spending huge amounts of money on gifts.
If we can give you one word of advice about cleaning out your savings account at Christmas time, it’s this: Don’t! Children want love and attention far more than ‘things’. They also don’t like to feel as if they are being “paid off.” So keep your gift shopping within your regular budget, and lavish your children with quality time instead. They’ll appreciate it more, you’ll both benefit from the time spent together, and it’ll also help to strengthen the bond between you during difficult times. (Plus, you’ll save yourself the headache of debt in the future.)
“Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind…”
- Miracle on 34th Street
Nothing ruins the holidays faster than a family fight and especially a fight that the kids are involved in. We know that kids are sometimes resentful of the changes that divorce brings, but helping a child adapt to change is a far cry from causing drama for them.
The best thing you and your ex can do is be civil and pleasant to each other during the holidays. Since you’re probably going to have to interact with one another, the best thing you can do is make an effort to be pleasant and cheerful. Even if you don’t feel it, even if you have to glue that smile on your face and fake every second of it, it’ll go a long way towards making Christmas more enjoyable for your kids.
Divorce can be hard, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Single parenting can be very hard, and the holidays tend to add a lot more stress to the equation. However, remember that many families have survived this difficult time, and gone on to be stronger and happier – you can do it too! So if you need advice about a possible divorce, or if you’re considering divorce but don’t know how to begin the process, our skilled and experienced family law attorneys are available to talk 24/7!. Call us at 866 766 5245. We’re here to help!