The holiday season is a time for joy and family. For divorced parents, feelings are often more complex. You may be without your children for the first time in years, which can be disheartening. You may also be involved in squabbles about who gets the kids on which days, as well as other issues.
Despite any divorce and custody issues you are dealing with, you can navigate the season with peace and tranquility. U.S. News and World Report offers the following tips to divorced parents headed towards their first holiday season since the split.
Prepare your kids ahead of time
Your children are also affected by your divorce, especially when spending time apart during the holidays. Ensuring they know exactly what to expect from the schedule, including how long they will be away from home, can mitigate some stress and worry. Plan out the holidays with your ex, including times for drop offs and pick-ups, and inform your kids of the plan as soon as possible.
Be civil with your ex
Divorces are often contentious, which means bad feelings can spill over into the lives of your kids. If you must spend time around your former spouse, be polite and civil. Do not bring up issues from your divorce in front of your children, or you risk making them unhappy. If there are serious issues that must be addressed, call or text your ex while your kids are preoccupied.
Be supportive when your children return home
You may be curious about your ex’s life now that you are apart. This curiosity can sometimes get the better of you, which can lead to you interrogating your children when they return home from visits. Refrain from asking pointed questions and stick to genial topics, like what kind of gifts your kids received. When you put your children in the middle, you only increase their stress.