Divorcing? Children? Holidays?
When you are a divorce attorney inevitably holiday time for clients and
their families is turbulent and for some, very unhappy. Where do the children
spend Thanksgiving? Who gets Hanukkah? What about Christmas? New Years?
Even though your divorce is causing you pain and you are having a difficult
time, you must remember to put your children first. Although you may not
feel like celebrating, the holiday season says otherwise. Having said
that, you deserve to enjoy the holidays as well. For a happier and psychologically
healthier holiday I suggest the following:
- Consider including your spouse, and also alternate the major holidays.
Notice I said “consider.”I know it’s hard.But sometimes
it can work to help the children adjust.
Suggest the children spend a portion of the holiday with both of you.Maybe
an hour or two all together and then the children can spend the balance
of the holiday with the other parent.Encourage your child to have a good
time with the other parent. (even if deep down, you don’t feel that way!)
plan in advance.
If you provide some suggestions, structure and details for how to spend
the holidays, it will be less stressful. Hear what your spouse has to
say, give your thoughts, and come to a conclusion that suits all, especially
- Include other family members.
Don’t forget to include Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Joe.
Planning for extended family to proactively participate helps the children
to adjust and to feel more secure. The more, the merrier!
- Please don’t compete.
Try to agree on what gifts each parent is giving the child.Time spent with
your child is far more valuable than any gift you could give them. If
gifts are involved, communicate and decide together what gift will make
your child happy.A gift from both of you will send a comforting and powerful message.
Have a good time and create new traditions.
Try to see divorce as a positive change in your family dynamic and as an
opportunity to introduce your children to new family traditions.Each parent
should introduce some new holiday tradition into the mix.It will ease
the stress and divert attention to something positive and constructive
about the new family structure.
If you need some help with a parenting agreement or holiday visitation
schedule, call me, I am here to help.212.734.1551