The greatest wish of many children of divorce during the holidays is that
Mom and Dad will get back together. Even though the sad truth is that
this probably is not going to happen, you as responsible parents can cooperate,
and make the holidays as happy as possible for your child. Children tend
to worry about the parent they won’t be with during the holidays.
They often have conflicting feelings of sadness, anger and guilt. They
are not sure how to act or whom to please.
Here are five helpful co-parenting tips on how to help your child through
Always Make Your Child a Priority!
No matter how old the child, consider their feelings and what they want
as well as what is actually arranged. Let them feel as though they are
part of this decision-making process. Keep your children out of parenting disputes!
Consider your Child’s Feelings!
Remember many children of divorcing families will have conflicted feelings
during the holidays.
Help them so they don’t default to feeling responsible for the divorce.
Encourage them to have a good time with the other parent. Don’t
bad talk the other parent, even if it is tempting. It is not helpful to
children in a divorce situation, but particularly during the holidays.
Help your children get ready for their holiday visit with the other parent.
When they come home, be interested in what they did and ask non-invasive
questions about the time spent with the other parent. This behavior will
help your child feel less anxious and hopefully, happier.
Plan well in advance.
Discuss and share information with the other parent. Try to put aside your
anger and hurt. Make plans with the other parent. Make some of those plans
to all be together for part of the holiday season, if possible. Try to
coordinate gifts with your ex so your child receives a normal amount of
presents and no duplicates. Conveying a strong united front helps a child
feel secure and more loved especially during the holidays. Remember, you
divorced your spouse, not your child. A strong co-parenting relationship
is the best gift you can give your child this holiday season!
Good co-parenting requires compromise to be successful. Sometimes planning
holidays around visitation schedules can be chaotic. But if this is not
possible, Compromise! Compromise! Compromise! You will be helping your
child. Think of your child’s needs first, even if this is difficult for you.
Make the Most of It!
This means take the necessary steps to ensure your child has a wonderful
holiday while keeping your sanity at the same time!
If you are divorced/or divorcing and you need help with a good solid parenting
agreement, I can help. Parenting agreements can make things run a lot
smoother. Your children will have better structure in their lives if you
take the time to put one in place. It also helps parents to have a plan
and not have to interact too much with each other if it brings tension
to the situation.
I have been crafting parenting agreements as an integral part of the divorce
process successfully for over 35 years. I am happy to share what I have
learned. Call me 212.734.1551.