While the holidays are a joyful and festive time for many, this time can be difficult for children who are dealing with the divorce of their parents. If you are currently in the process of divorce or have recently separated from your spouse, there are several things you can do to help your children cope with this change during the holiday season.
1. Plan Ahead for Holiday Gatherings
When children have to divide their time between two households, the holiday season can become a bittersweet time. If you are making plans for any holiday get-togethers this year, make an effort to coordinate with your spouse to allow your children time to see both parents at separate times. Plan for your children to spend time with one parent on the actual holiday, with time set aside for the other parent on a nearby date.
This way, your children will be allowed to spend sufficient time with each parent, rather than having brief and unsatisfactory visits. Making these plans about a month or so before the holidays can help your children expect where they will be and with whom they will spend their time.
2. Video Chat or Record Messages
Spending the holidays without a parent can be made easier on your children by offering an alternative means of communication. Even if you physically cannot be with them due to fixed visitation schedules, record a message or use video chat methods such as Skype to briefly wish them a happy holiday and let them know you still care. This can help ease some of the discomforts of the tumultuous transition.
3. Give Gifts Equally
If your family practices the tradition of giving gifts during the holidays, make sure you and your spouse divide your child’s wish list equally and avoid trying to outdo the other parent. A common practice for recently divorced spouses is to attempt to bribe children with extravagant gifts in order to win their favor. This can be counterproductive and worsen existing tensions. By equally giving gifts to your children, your children will feel less pressured to pick a side and can enjoy their time with each parent without guilt.
4. Do Not Bash the Other Parent
One of the quickest ways to upset your children during the holidays is by verbally bashing the other parent in front of them. While you may still be experiencing a fair amount of anger and frustration during and soon after a divorce, do not start criticizing their father or mother in in their presence. Focus on building your relationship with your children, not tearing down their relationship with the other parent.
Divorcing? Contact Steven N. Cole, LLC
Divorce can be an emotionally taxing experience, especially during the holidays. At Steven N. Cole, LLC, our firm’sPhoenix divorce lawyers understand your struggle and are here to offer the compassionate representation you need during this difficult time. With 20 years of successful legal experience and an uncompromising dedication to preserving your rights, we can walk you through the complex legal processes and help you pursue an amicable solution to your marital separation.
To find out more about how we can help, call our office today