For some people, the holidays and stress go together like turkey and stuffing. Between the family gatherings, gift shopping, busy work schedules and other time drains, it’s no wonder we often find ourselves exhausted and just looking for a break during the year’s final months. For families who have just finished the divorce process, this season can become even more difficult.
Children often find themselves dealing with a lot of unknowns in their first holiday season after a divorce, and this can cause them a lot of stress and unhappiness. Here are a few valuable tips for helping your children to get through this trying time, adapt to their new family circumstances, and look forward to happier holidays after divorce.
Create New Holiday Traditions
Your children may have grown accustomed to and enjoyed their annual holiday traditions, and the thought of not getting to do them anymore can be painful. So as a parent, if possible, try to continue some of these favored traditions. If not, the holidays are also a great time to make new traditions. Find out what your kids would like to do and make an effort to include that instead. This could be a great way for parents and children to discover something together that they never knew they loved.
Encourage Your Kids to Express Their Feelings and Preferences
It’s easy to lose track of the fact that your kids may be experiencing similar emotional stress during the holidays as you are. Sometimes they can feel as though they are forced to keep that stress bottled up which will only lead to them being even more unhappy. To solve this, talk to them. Give them a voice and let them express how they feel, what they want to do, and where they want to go. Do your best to accommodate these wishes if possible; they are a member of your family after all.
Schedules are Key to Happier Holidays after Divorce
One of the biggest stresses for kids is the unknown; changing holiday traditions and the thought of spending these days with two different families can be scary for kids who have never experienced it. Working together with your ex and coming up with a schedule for the holidays is a great way to help your kids know what to expect and alleviate some of their stress. This may require some considerable flexibility on the part of both you and your ex, but putting aside your differences for the betterment of your children can make for happier holidays after divorce for everyone.
Ken Cadora, Lauren Fair, and the team at the Fair Cadora family law firm understand how hard a divorce can be on your entire family, particularly during the holidays. www.faircadora.com