The holidays will be here before you know it. If you've recently divorced, the holidays might be a little stressful this year. If you have children, you need to expect that the holidays will be stressful for them too, especially if this will be the first holiday season since the divorce. How to handle the holidays this year, will determine how your kids view the holidays from here on out. Because of that, it's important that you do everything you can to make this holiday season as relaxed and stress-free as you can for your kids. Here are four simple steps you can take to help your kids have a joyful holiday season:
Put Your Differences Aside
If your divorce was anything but amicable, it might be tough to put a smile on your face when it comes to your ex. However, if you want your kids to have a stress-free holiday season, that's what you need to do. Make it a point to set aside your differences during the holidays. This will prevent contention and animosity from creeping in. If you can get through the first holiday season without contention, it will be easier to get through all the rest.
Allow Adequate Communication
Children of divorce often feel a total sense of separation from extended family, especially during the holidays. They may have looked forward to spending time with cousins, aunts, and uncles during family get-togethers. If your children will be missing out on some of those events, be sure to allow for adequate communication. Utilize one of the many video chat options to allow your children the opportunity to visit with family members during those events.
Stick to the Schedule
Children need continuity in their daily lives. To avoid stressful days for your children, make sure you stick to the visitation schedule. If you're supposed to pick the kids up on a particular day, be there on time. When it comes time to drop them back off, avoid delays. Children need to know that they'll be picked up and dropped off at the appointed time, even during the holidays.
Hire a Mediator
If you and your ex are having a hard time putting your differences aside, or you're already arguing over the holiday visitation schedule, talk to your divorce attorney about mediation. Those first holidays apart can be difficult to deal with, which means emotions and personal feelings can get in the way of effective co-parenting. Sitting down with a mediator, before the problem escalates, can you and your ex develop effective communication skills that will help you avoid problems in the future.
Contact a law office like Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP for more information and assistance.
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