The holiday season can be difficult to navigate for many reasons. This may be particularly true when a couple that has children is in the midst of or newly divorced. Since so many of the season’s traditions are geared toward children, many would agree that parents should do everything they can to make the gatherings and celebrations good for the children. There are multiple things that can be done to ensure the kids are not put in the middle and are able to enjoy the season.
Recognize it may better to celebrate on another day
The first is to recognize that it may be necessary for one parent to celebrate a holiday at a time other than the actual date. Depending on the situation, logistically it may be too difficult for children to make it to separate gatherings with each parent. Even if it is logistically feasible, attending two celebrations in one day may be too much for the children and leave all involved unsatisfied with the day.
Make allowances to children and the other parent
When kids are expected to attend more than one celebration in one day all involved should understand that expectations that would normally apply may need to be altered. Overly tired children will be more likely to meltdown. Similarly, most children who ate a large meal at the first function cannot be expected to do so at the second place as well.
Take the high road
Ultimately it is up to the parents to set the tone for holiday celebrations. Accordingly, when children are delayed in getting from one location to another it should be taken into consideration the possibility of traffic or weather issues. Additionally, if tensions are running high it is generally advisable to avoid engaging in activities that might make things worse, like the consumption of alcohol.
While the first holiday season after a separation or divorce can be hard to navigate, with effort from both sides it is possible to make it a positive experience for the children.