Managing the Holidays after Divorce

Many people look forward to the holidays and gathering with family and friends. No matter what you celebrate, spending time with loved ones is something most people enjoy.

When you’re divorced, however, holidays can be stressful. This is especially true for couples with children. Coordinating schedules and vacations when both parents want to spend time with the kids can add layers of frustration and anxiety to an otherwise happy time. School concerts, family parties, and other events also force parents to interact more than usual – something that can be challenging when the parents are not normally on the best terms.

According to Psychology Today, there are ways parents can manage these interactions.

Keep the focus on the kids. The holidays are generally geared toward children. Whether you are a religious or secular family, the season is a time of magic and wonder for young kids. Encourage your child to celebrate and spend time with the other parent.

Don’t compete with your ex. Although reindeer games are traditionally part of certain holiday celebrations, avoid games with your ex-partner. Don’t engage in power struggles or competitions to win your child’s affection. Children are very perceptive and can usually discern when a parent is trying to outdo the other parent. Most children are happiest simply by spending quality time with both parents.

Communicate. Communication is key to a smooth relationship with your ex, especially during the busy holiday season. Don’t make assumptions about schedules and time off. Work with your child’s other parent to make the season as conflict-free as possible.

Don’t delay planning. The holidays can be stressful enough without adding family conflict to the mix. People rush around trying to purchase gifts, schedule parties, and finish up work before taking vacation time. Plan ahead to show your ex you respect his or her valuable time.

When it comes to managing relationships after divorce, a little effort really does go a long way. To discuss modifications to your parenting agreement or other important matters, give us a call today.