The holidays are a time of joyous occasions, building traditions and enjoying family time with the children and maybe even the extended family. So what happens when there is a break in the family such as a divorce? What is one to do in such an occasion where the kids are caught in the middle?
The truth is it really depends on how bad the divorce or split was and how the parents are handling the breakup more so than the children. If the parents are amicable or if there was bloodshed (figuratively hopefully) can make a world of difference in life after a split. Here are some tips to surviving the holidays after divorce to keep in mind if you are a divorced or separated dad or mom.
Holiday Survival Tip #1: (Try to) Play Nice
There is nothing worse than two parents fighting. It can take a day that was supposed to be an enjoyable annual tradition and destroy it.Post-divorce holiday survival tip number 1 - (try to) be nice. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #2: Set Up a Schedule In Advance
Even if the divorce was amicable chances are mom and dad do not want to be with each other. Exchanging holiday schedule requests is important to avoiding conflict in what should be a happy time of year.Post-divorce holiday survival tip number 2 - schedule in advance (and stick to it). #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #3: Be Flexible
If trading holidays doesn’t work out then try half days; the morning with mom and the evening with dad or vice versa. It benefits no one when either party is unreasonable in their requests or approving the other party’s requests.Post-divorce holiday survival tip number 3 - try to be flexible. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #4: Bury the Hatchet?
If the divorce was a mutual understanding and there are no bad feelings towards each other perhaps you could even try to enjoy the holiday in the same house. Families being together during the holidays can help all parties involved. Just be careful to set expectations of your children to make sure they know mommy and daddy are just getting along, not getting back together. You may want to have a contingency plan if that isn’t working.Post-divorce holiday survival tip number 4 - try to bury the hatchet. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #5: Keep Your Cool
Do not, under any circumstances, ever, take out your frustration of mom’s new partner on your children. In a way, he (or she) may be your child’s new partner as well. Taking the high road any time of the year is definitely the way to go – especially during the holidays.Post-divorce holiday survival tip number 5 - always keep your cool. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #6: Don’t Try to Compete
The holidays can bring up many old feelings from the past and they can be good or bad. It’s not a competition and shouldn’t be used as one to see who can get the better presents. It’s about showing the kids that even divorced parents can still show the kids love and support.Post-divorce holiday survival tip number 6 - don't try to compete. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #7: Collaborate on Gift-Giving
Again, assuming the divorce was clean and you’re at least somewhat amicable, why not try planning a big present that can be shared at both homes? Something like a video game system, tablet device or bicycle make for a few suggestions.Post-divorce holiday survival tip number 7 - collaborate on gifts. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #8: Family AND Friends
Divorces can drive wedges in between the children and parents for obvious reasons. It can help the child if a friend is over to keep them company. Older children (especially teens) look to their social circles more and more. Why not include friends in the holidays at times as well?Post-divorce holiday tip number 8 - nurture relationships with family and friends. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #9: Have Empathy
If the divorce was nasty, dirty and didn’t go well, try to see it not only from the kid’s point of view but from your ex as well. The holidays are a time for understanding and compassion. It’s the perfect time to set aside some of your anomosity and put you It can be difficult to see what they can see.Post-divorce holiday tip number 9 - have empathy. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #10: Realistic Expectations
It’s important that you go into the holidays with realistic expectations. The holidays are a time for forgiving and forgetting. You may bury the hatchet for the time being, as mentioned above. You may actually be getting along! Use this time to improve your relationship, but be realistic. You split up for a reason. The holidays can make things better for the time being, but don’t let that cloud your judgement for the long-term.Post-divorce holiday tip number 10 - realistic expectations. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet
Holiday Survival Tip #11: Agree to Disagree
Obviously many of these tips are not unique to the holidays – they apply year-round. There are some things that just can’t be agreed on and that’s ok; agree to disagree without making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Your divorce is something that was caused by mom and dad not the kids. Surviving this holiday isn’t hard if you have some help and hopefully these steps will be that help you need!Post-divorce holiday tip number 11 - when all else fails, agree to disagree. #Divorce #coparent Click To Tweet