The upcoming Holiday season should be all about giving thanks, but it is often difficult for divorced families to get in the holiday spirit, particularly when it means sharing their children. For those who celebrate Christmas, divorced and separated couples need to remember to help their kids focus on being thankful…not just who gives the most presents.
As difficult as sharing the kids can be for divorced parents, it is even tougher for their children, who often feel in the middle of conflicts regarding family time. Some ways to send positive messages that will help children manage stress during the holiday include:
Have Two Celebrations
If the parents live in close proximity to each other, consider planning two separate events so children do not have to choose which one to attend. Invite extended family and friends, and make it an event, even if it is just before or after the actual date.
Celebrate Twice in One Day
Make your holiday twice as fun by splitting the date – one parent could hold a Thanksgiving brunch and everyone could attend an early movie afterwards, then the other parent could host an elegant dinner later. There will be some coordinating involved, but it will prevent the children or parents from having to choose.
Get Everyone Together, Even From Far Away
If the other parent cannot be with the children, make an effort to ensure that the kids get ample time to talk to them, even if you’d rather not. This can be done through a phone call, video, or a virtual visit if the other parent lives far away.
Put Your Differences Aside for the Day
While it won’t work for every family, some find that it’s entirely possible to spend a pleasant day with the parent of your children, and maybe even their new spouse and stepchildren, after the acrimony over the divorce has passed.
If the approaching holiday season is causing stress for your family, contact a child custody attorney at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys online or call 701-235-8000 (toll-free 877-235-8000) for help today.
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