How can I handle the holidays as a divorced parent?

While the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and happiness, many divorced parents experience the opposite. You may be worried about scheduling snafus, disagreements with your ex, and the loneliness of spending time away from your kids.

These are all valid concerns, but there are ways you can make the holidays more tolerable for yourself and your kids. U.S. News and World Report offers the following tips to divorced parents, so you can keep the peace and keep the joy in the holiday season.

Plan ahead (and be flexible)

Going into the holiday season with a clear plan in place will reduce a lot of tension. If possible, decide on which holidays you will have your kids and which ones your ex will get. This ensures your children get to spend quality time with both of you. Also, discuss things like transportation arrangements and times ahead of time so there is no confusion. Waiting until the last minute practically guarantees there will be an argument.

Always put your children first

When frustrated by your ex’s actions, always keep your kids in mind. Their best interests should be at the forefront of discussion and debate. Even if your kids’ wishes counter your own, you should still accept them calmly and rationally. Remember, your kids must have a healthy relationship with both you and your ex, even after your divorce has been finalized.

Do not interrogate your kids when they get back

Never put your children in the middle of adult matters. If you are curious about your ex and what life is like after the divorce, your children should not be resources for this information. Ask them if they had a fun time, inquire about the presents received, but leave any questions regarding your ex-spouse out of the conversation.

FindLaw Network
Heidi L. Heinrich
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