The Christmas holidays are a magical time for many children, but this can be a time of great uncertainty for children who are just learning how to navigate life between two homes because their parents divorced. It’s up to the parents to help the children through this.
There are several things parents can do to help children through this time. One of the most important is to create stability for them. Ideally, you and your ex will be a parenting team that can do what’s best for the children without arguing. Here are three tips:
1. Encourage them to have fun
Children may not realize that having fun with both sides of their family is acceptable. They may feel bad because one parent is missing out. Encourage them to have fun and enjoy the festivities even though you aren’t with them.
2. Provide opportunities to get or make gifts
Your children may want to give gifts to both sides of the family, but they may need help getting those. Whether you take them shopping or help them to make something homemade, you should allow them to do this for both sides of their family.
3. Adjust the schedule as needed
While the holiday schedule may look nice on paper, it might not work well. You and your ex should be willing to adjust the schedule as needed to allow your children to do the things they feel are important. This includes making time for extended family who cannot visit often.
Getting the parenting plan together is one of the most important things you have to do when you’re divorcing. This outlines what happens with the children, including the parenting time schedule for the holidays. You may need to find creative solutions for issues, so be sure to consider working with someone who’s familiar with cases similar to yours.