Tonight’s post on making the holidays less stressful for children of divorce, is provided to us by another of our excellent Atlanta attorneys, Lindsey Harrison.
Holiday season is a busy time for a divorce attorney. Parents without holiday parenting plans in place frequently need assistance in setting something up that everyone can live with and, for those with plans already in place, all too often, one parent does not want to play by the rules. It is easy to lose sight of how these conflicts can impact the children. Therefore, I have put together a short list of tips to make surviving the holidays a little easier for children of divorce.
Be polite to your ex over the holidays. Children often get caught in the middle of their parent’s disagreements. Give them a break during the holidays.
Talk with your ex about gifts so your children won’t be overindulged or let down.
Create some new holiday traditions that your kids can look forward to doing with you. Encourage your ex to create his/her own different traditions as well.
Follow the Rules. When you have a parenting plan in place, follow it.
Keep all extended family, grandparents, etc. involved during the holidays (even if it can only be through email, cards, phone calls). They are still an integral part of your children’s lives and provide them with continuity and security in the face of your changed family structure.
If you have done so before, continue to help your children select a present for your ex.
Respect the other parent’s religious practices and beliefs.
Don’t communicate negative feelings about your ex through your words or behavior. Your kids will be taking their cues from the both of you.
Finally, have a Merry Christmas! Remember to be active in doing just that.