During and after divorce it’s important to remember your children
did not sign on to be your football.
Many parents put their children right in the middle of their mess out of
anger and pain. My advice? Don’t! Your children don’t deserve
to be mistreated because you are in pain.
The holiday season will be coming up in the next few weeks and it’s
time to think about the children and their needs and some holiday survival
Here are my 5 tips for surviving the holidays and being the best parents
you can be to your children. They deserve it! So do you!
- BE FLEXIBLE
Try to cooperate with each other and do what is needed for both you and
your spouse or ex-spouse so that you can both spend happy, quality time
with your children.
Consider having a civil conversation about what you both have in mind for
the holidays and how time with the children can be shared with each of
you and extended family members. Don’t wait 'til the week of
Thanksgiving to have this conversation. Start talking now!
- PROVIDE STABILITY
Once you have made some decisions, present a united front in telling the
children together (if possible) what the plans are going to be. Make them
feel that everything is worked out and it’s going to be a good holiday
season because mom and dad have figured it out.
This will provide tremendous stability and comfort to your children. It
will ease their anxiety and their concerns about mom and dad getting along
during the holidays. Children think about holidays and how mom and dad
are going to feel if they are alone. Don’t put them in the middle
of that mess. Give them peace of mind that everything will be okay even
though you are no longer together.
- CREATE A PARENTING PLAN
If you don’t have a parenting plan you may want to consider having
one. You can develop one informally if you are communicating well or you
can have your attorney or mediator help create one.
A parenting plan is a blueprint for how you are going to navigate spending
time with your children. Parenting agreements can be a simple road map.
Once you have it in place and on autopilot, you won’t have to stress
over everything. Try one if you don’t already have one. It can make
your life a lot easier.
- TOLERATE THE NEW SIGNIFICANT OTHER
Life goes on after divorce. If you or your ex-spouse are dating, don’t
make it an issue. Try to open yourself to accepting that someone new will
eventually enter both your lives.
During the holidays this can be delicate but not if you think and plan
for it. Try to have an open discussion with each other about the role
the new significant other will play in the lives of your children.
Introducing a new partner is a big and important decision. Incorporating
new partners into the family structure is delicate, especially during
the holidays. I sometimes suggest the aid of a therapist to help in this
introduction and transition. If you need help with this, don’t be
afraid to ask for it. A professional can make some great suggestions on
how to speak with the children so everyone is more comfortable.
- YOU WILL GET PAST THIS!
I know divorce is painful and draining. I see pain in many of my clients
and I always say, “This will pass.” It does, and it will.
Be kind to yourself while going through your divorce. It is like grief.
There is happiness on the other side of all the legal and emotional issues.
Your children feel pain too! The holidays only make it harder, but always
think in the best interest of the children, please try!
If you would like to discuss/create a parenting plan, I am happy to help.
As a divorce attorney/mediator with over 35 years of experience, I can
help you develop a parenting plan that will keep your family on track
Parenting plans can really provide stability and sanity. How one is crafted
can make all the difference in being able to productively implement one.
Call me to schedule your free consultation today!
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conducted virtually to reduce risk.
We still have a few appointments available for next week.
I look forward to helping you.
Stay healthy and safe!
Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner to learn more about parenting