Every family has their own holiday traditions, and most experience some form of stress during this time of year. This is particularly true for separating or divorced spouses and their children. Those that are facing the holidays for the first time after separating may feel even more anxiety, but there are ways to keep the holidays happy for everyone.
Rather than focusing on past difficulties, separated and divorced parents can concentrate on establishing new traditions that still incorporate treasured memories. Having the same decorations, spending time with grandparents, and attending religious services can remain part of the festivities, but certain things will have to change.
No holiday season is perfect, and strict rules about how to celebrate no longer apply. The most important tool is a positive outlook along with keeping the children’s best interests at the forefront. In these situations, it is vital to receive ongoing feedback from your children and to take their input to heart.
Sharing Holiday Time
A key way to successfully share the holidays is to carefully plan ahead and be willing to make adjustments. Some ex-spouses live close to one another and can split the holidays in half; for example, the children can have brunch with one parent and dinner with the other. Some holidays are more easily divided, with one parent hosting Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day.
Other options include assigning fixed holidays where the children spend the same holidays with the same parent each year. Alternating holidays also works well for some families. Naturally, there will be some disagreements as to who spends time with whom, but keeping calm and showing a willingness to compromise will smooth the process along.
Many parents admit to overscheduling their children, and the holidays are no exception. Children need down time, especially during this busy time of year. Setting aside a few hours to relax at a movie or enjoy a peaceful meal with family and friends can reduce stress levels and build long-lasting bonds.
Ex-spouses that feel a need to outdo one another during the holidays may want to scale things back a bit to preserve everyone’s sanity. A more laid-back approach could be the best thing for the family, and the children may appreciate it. It is also important to schedule personal time for yourself during this hectic time of year.
Woodbridge Child Custody Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Develop Parenting Plans for the Holidays
If you are struggling with co-parenting issues, the experienced Woodbridge child custody lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. can help. Call us at 908-575-9777 or complete our online form for a free case evaluation today. Located in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.