For families still adjusting to life after divorce, the traditional togetherness of the holidays can be stressful and downright depressing. This can be especially true for children, who might still be struggling to understand why the divorce happened in the first place. If you went through a divorce earlier this year, help your child cope with the holiday season using the following tips.
Keep the Focus on Your Children
Despite the change in your marital status, your family is still technically a family. No, this does not mean that you need to invite your ex-spouse over for Thanksgiving dinner. It does mean that you need to remember that your child still loves both of you, and that they do not want to be put in the middle. More than that, children can be emotionally hurt if they are forced to choose sides, so do not make them. Instead, work with your ex-spouse the best that you can. Come up with a plan that everyone can live with, and make sure your child’s wants and needs are at the top of your list of priorities when making those plans. Above all else, avoid any angry words either in front of or around your child.
Do Not Feel Obligated to Spend Time Together
Some ex-spouses might be able to enjoy a meal together without wanting to scream across the table at one another. Others simply cannot. You know your family better than anyone, so do not feel obligated to try and spend a lot of time together if you and your ex are still struggling to get along. Of course, that may mean letting go of certain family traditions (which you should try to keep as many intact as possible), but explaining to your children ahead of time that certain rituals will not be possible can help them prepare and adjust.
Iron Out the Details Early
The holidays are busy, and almost everyone is overwhelmed by their schedules, so start ironing out the details of your family’s holiday schedule well in advance. Make sure you have pickup and drop-off times set, and know what days belong to whom. Also, be prepared to be a little flexible. Dinners can run late. Holiday shopping can be crazy. Traffic can get out of hand. Any and all of these circumstances can make even the most punctual person late, so if your ex is typically less detail-oriented than you, expect them to be late and save yourself the stress. If, on the other hand, your spouse tends to be more detail-oriented than you, try to make the extra effort to be at the pick-up/drop-off location on time.
Contact Our DuPage County Family Law Attorneys
If you have not yet filed for divorce but are planning on moving forward during or after the holiday season, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Dedicated and experienced, our DuPage County family law attorneys can help you develop a parenting plan that is meant to satisfy all involved parties. We will protect your interests and pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at 630-932-9100 today.
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