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Two Christmases? Tips for Helping Kids Through Holiday Divorces

The holidays can be a difficult time for the whole family after a divorce. Depending on how recent the divorce was, it can be hard to know how to adapt your routines without losing meaningful traditions.

With this in mind, here are a few tips for helping kids to navigate the holidays after a divorce.

Manage Expectations

If you’ll be getting together with extended family, have talks in advance about how everyone should act around the kids.

Finally, have conversations with your kids about the change of traditions. Together, these important steps can lay the groundwork for a smooth Christmas holiday.

Create a Plan

If you have a set parenting time in your custody agreement that each parent is allowed to have the kids for a holiday, try to think through the big picture of the activities that your children participate in. Let your ex-spouse know about any big events you’ll be having the children participate in.

There are typically many gatherings and events around the holidays. Kids can often feel as if they have to keep eating to make everyone happy and not offend anyone. Try to avoid putting excess pressure on your kids to participate in events in a specific way. Give them room to navigate the new norms.

Create Space for Downtime

Parents want to create a happy holiday for the kids. While that is understandable, instead of packing in things to do every moment of the day, have time set aside to enjoy your kids’ company.

If the kids are at the age for naps, give them the time to take a nap and rest. It is not worth having the kids tired and cranky for the other parent. This will only make the day harder for the kids.

Revisit Appropriate Topics

Bad mouthing the other parent should always be off-limits in front of the kids, but it is sometimes easy to overlook when frustrations run high during holiday stress.

Find time before Christmas day to go over your mutual expectations on what should and should not be discussed in front of the kids.

Simplify Gift Giving

Christmas is not a time to compete with your ex. Kids are naturally intuitive and can pick up on these emotions.

How many times have you bought your kids new toys, only to find that a week later, they have already forgotten about them? Memories, however, last a lifetime. Find fun ways to create great Christmas memories and focus less on the number of presents.

Expect New Emotions

It’s okay for kids to feel sad or to miss their other parents when they are away. Anger and sadness are reasonable responses. Allow your kids to freely talk about how they feel.

On the other hand, some kids may be excited to talk about all of their new toys, the friends and family they got to see, and the fun things they did with the other parent. Be excited for your kids and grateful that they had a fun day. This will go a long way in helping them to cope and feel supported.

Turn to Gucciardo Family Law

If you are considering a divorce or are struggling with custody cooperation, call the skilled attorneys at Gucciardo Family Law today to schedule a consultation.

Too much information?

We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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