While the holidays are a time of family fun for many, this time of year can be extremely difficult for children whose parents have recently split. This change in routine can create quite a struggle for children to cope with. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce or have recently ended your marriage, there are several things you can do to help your children adjust.
Listen to Them
Just as you are likely reeling from your divorce, your children are probably feeling similar feelings of frustration and sadness. Do not suppress these feelings, and encourage them to express their thoughts. Even the most dedicated approaches to keeping the holidays joyful cannot prevent your children from feeling sadness. If they are distressed, hear them out and validate their feelings.
Schedule Time for Each Parent
Traveling back and forth between households can create a great sense of instability during the holiday season. It is important that you coordinate with your spouse and make sure you set aside time for your children to spend quality time with each spouse. Instead of having your kids travel to see both parents on a holiday, make arrangements so that they will spend a full day with each parent. Spend the actual holiday with one parent, with a close by date set aside for time with the other. This can help your children know where and with whom they will be spending their time.
If your family had any holiday traditions before your split, make an effort to continue to honor these traditions. If you have younger kids, adhering to an established routine that they recognize can greatly help them cope with the change. If this involves you and your spouse being together for a day, attempt to do so in a cordial manner. Be sure to communicate to your children that simply because you are in the same place does not indicate that you are reuniting.
Do Not Compete with Gifts
After a split, many parents may resort to purchasing extravagant gifts for their children as a means of trying to win their favor. This must be avoided at all costs, as it can foster feelings of guilt and worsen any existing tensions. Your focus must be on building your relationship with your children, not on hurting their relationship with your former spouse. If your family exchanges gifts during the holidays, equally divide your child’s wish list with the other parent. This will help reinforce the fact that they are loved by both parents and help create a sense of stability.
Divorcing? Contact Fox Firm, P.C.
If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the skilled Lawrenceville family lawyers from Fox Firm, P.C. can walk you through the process and protect your rights every step of the way. We understand the emotional pain that divorce can bring, and our attorneys are prepared to do everything we can to help you get through this difficult time. With 20 years of successful experience, your case is sure to be in good hands.
To get started, call our office today at (770) 884-7469.