It’s your first holiday season after your divorce. You are stressed out and anxious, wondering how you can make the holidays as normal as possible for your children. The truth is, the holidays will be different this year, but they don’t have to be worse. Use these tips to make the holidays as easy as possible for you, your ex and the kids.
1. Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until the last minute to make plans with your ex for the holidays. Chances are that one of you were given the kids for the holidays. Decide on what time they will get picked up or dropped off, when they will return home and who will be in charge of transportation. Making these plans in advance will prevent last minute arguments that stress everyone out.
2. Help Shop
Your child will want to purchase a gift for your ex, so let them. If you are able, help them with the cost. Shop for your ex’s presents from the kids just like you did last year. You may opt to allow each child to pick out a single gift and that’s okay, too. Nothing says that you have to sign your name to the card.
3. Make Phone Calls
Even if your child is with you during the holidays, give them a chance to speak with their other parent on the phone. You may even let them FaceTime with your ex. If you have a device that allows for video calling, let your child “see” their other parent.
4. Don’t Sit Home
If you don’t have your children this holiday, don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Attend holiday parties and events so that your mind is occupied. Make plans for a celebration when your children return home. Keep yourself busy so that you don’t have much time to sit and wallow.
5. Share Schedules
If your ex doesn’t have the children often, share with them your children’s regular schedule. Your ex certainly doesn’t have any obligation to stick to it, but having a schedule can help your ex keep your children from becoming grumpy.
6. Don’t Spoil
It’s tempting to spoil your child with presents to try and make up for the fact that one parent will be absent on the holidays. Avoid this temptation. More gifts may distract your child, but they won’t change the situation at hand. Along with this, try to talk to your ex civilly about not trying to compete with one another. It can be really disappointing when you buy the kids an outfit, and your ex buys them a gift worth hundreds.
Don’t get so caught up in the materialism of the holidays that you forget what is really important this year. Keeping things as normal as possible for your children should be a mutual goal between you and your ex. Nothing is going to make things perfect for your kids right now, but this could be the year to start new traditions.
If you need assistance with a family law issue in Orlando, please reach out to our team. We will review your needs during a consultation and provide you with more information. Call today.