The first few holidays after a divorce may be hard on your children. After experiencing so much upheaval and so many changes, the times generally designated for spending time together as a family may generate feelings of confusion, hurt or anger, whether the holiday is Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Easter, Christmas or even St. Patrick’s Day.
It is important to handle these special days carefully, at least until your offspring become more adjusted to their changed circumstances.
Do not pretend
While maintaining certain traditions may help, it is also imperative to acknowledge to your children that things change. The holidays may not be exactly the same, and that is okay. Emphasize that in spite of the changes, there remains room to continue enjoying these events. Without pushing too much change on them, explain how making new memories instead of clinging to old ones may be beneficial without minimizing the significance of those older memories.
Practice effective co-parenting
While the parenting time plan usually includes some form of holiday distribution, if the parents come to an agreement, they may deviate from this. Do not fight with your former spouse about holidays in front of your children. The tension and arguing may only serve to ruin the holidays for them. Instead, consider what serves your kids’ best interest and makes them happiest. Carefully plan out drop-off and pick-up times and dates and stick to them.
The holidays may be especially tense after a divorce. By handling them with care, you may help ease your children’s adjustment to their new way of life.