Transitioning to a co-parenting relationship with your ex is a difficult adjustment that often becomes a source of contention around the holidays. [Read more…]
The transition for children of divorced parents during the holidays can be difficult, as many of the traditions that existed when their father and mother were together will like change following the split.
The London Free Press reported that cooperation and advanced planning need to occur in order for the holidays to go smoothly, helping children forget about the problems that may exist between their two parents.
“Fail to plan, plan to fail,” Karen Stewart, a divorce mediator, told the news source. “If parents do not plan then kids are often left torn between where to go, who to spend time with – juggling the two families and extended families is more than any kids should have to handle.”
New traditions can be created to replace older ones, helping to generate new memories for children and limiting the amount that they will miss the days when the family celebrated the holidays together, according to the Press.
The New York Times reported that children who are young can adapt to any significant changes if they are explained to them in the right way. An open dialogue needs to exist between parents and their kids.
Parents that are separated can often struggle during the holiday months, as the strains of a divorce can take their toll on children and the extended family for both of the former spouses.
The Huffington Post reported that a lack of empathy during this period can have a disastrous effect on children who are caught in the middle of a struggle. Parents should keep in mind that their kids didn’t create the situation.
Although disagreements may still occur between the former couple, it is imperative that they are able to hold these discussions away from the extended family and children during the holiday months. If there is still tension that exists, situations with both sides of a family should be avoided.
According to the news source, parents should switch off holidays or take turns each year in celebrating with their children and the extended family. This can allow for drama-free time that can help kids feel stable.
With the divorce rate at close to 50 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, couples need to realize that these problems are not only theirs, and with a certain level of understanding, they will be able to get through the holidays.
The holiday season can bring equal amounts of joy and stress to families, but for a couple that has recently divorced, the strain that is put on their children can be overwhelming.
The Kansas City Star reported that children may begin to act in an even more aggressive manner due to the stress of the holidays, especially when they are seeing a parent that they don’t spend as much time with.
According to the newspaper, concerns will often arise about where the child will get to spend the holidays and the extended family of the mother or father will have to be chosen early on to limit the stress in this situation.
Parents will likely have to split time over holiday weekends, making it extremely important for activities and time spent with relatives to be maximized, the Star reported.
Mothers tend to receive custody of children in the majority of cases, 82.6 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This may mean that fathers should try and make the most of this time with their kids.
When divorced parents share custody of a child, planning milestones like birthday parties, graduation celebrations, weddings and other other momentous occasions can be an emotional and logistical nightmare, according to Huffington Post contributor Monica Medina.
Medina recently faced a difficult situation as her ex-husband planned her son’s Bar Mitzvah, an important rite of passage for the Jewish community. Drama with her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, feeling slighted by the invitation, a lack of communication and other issues made the event-planning unpleasant for both parents.
In the end, Medina found that all of the issues encountered during the planning of her son’s Bar Mitzvah, which eventually ended in the cancellation of the party, only hurt her child.
When parents end up in disagreement over party planning, or any other child custody issue for that matter, Help Guide suggests that parents remember how far respect can go. Being considerate to one another can help make a child’s special day more successful. Additionally, the parents can plan better events if they avoid sweating the small stuff and stick to the important issues. Lastly, compromise is a must.
“You will need to come around to your ex-spouse’s point of view as often as he or she comes around to yours,” explains the site.