Making the decision to divorce is not easy by any means. There are many components to consider when following through with a separation, such as property or support payments. However, what is most important to keep in mind are the best interests of your children.
If you recently decided to go through a divorce, you may be wondering what is best for your children over the holidays. They may feel stress or worry about the changes that face them. But there are ways you can help your children with their first holiday after a divorce.
Fait & DiLima, LLP is here to provide tips and answer questions to ensure that your kids enjoy the season.
When facing the holidays and keeping the kids in mind, you will likely have questions that need answers. Here are some common questions that may come up during this time of year.
Should We Celebrate Together?
One common question from parents is if they should attempt to spend part of the holiday together as a family. For individuals that had an amicable separation, this is a possibility. Consider opening presents together as a family, or having a meal together the day before. This can help provide your children with a sense of togetherness that they are missing.
However, not all divorces end so well. If this is the situation you are in, don’t put your children in a negative position where you cannot communicate with your ex. Instead, stick to having separate times for you and your ex to spend time with your kids. This will mean that your children don’t have to endure high-conflict situations, putting them first in the planning process.
Do I Get Input From My Kids?
You may find yourself wanting to ask the kids who they would like to spend their time with. This seems like a reasonable option since you can ensure that the children do what they want. However, asking younger children to make these decisions is placing a lot of pressure on them. In order to provide them with a smooth transition into the holidays, make decisions that are fair for all parties involved, including your co-parent.
For older children, it is possible that they can provide input on what they would like to do over the holidays. In fact, they may have plans or events of their own that arise. Giving them the ability to make their own choice can help them feel more excited about the holidays.
A more feasible way of getting involvement from your children is to ask them what activities they would like to engage in over the holidays. For example, they may want to participate in creating new decorations or want to watch holiday movies.
Tips For a Merry & Bright Season
You can also take steps as a parent to help set up your children for success over the holidays. Try following these tips.
As a parent you will be accustomed to spending the whole holiday with your children. After divorce, this will likely not remain the same. When co-parenting, you will need the skill of compromise. While it may be difficult to reach agreements in the beginning, practicing these skills will benefit your children in the long run.
Stay on the same page as your co-parent and collaborate on things such as presents or events. Don’t make everything a competition, as this will only negatively affect your children.
Communication is critical for smooth co-parenting, especially during the holidays. Find the best way to send messages or updates to your ex, whether that be through email or phone calls. This way you can both remain on the same page for schedules and other important events.
Fait & DiLima, LLP Can Help
We understand that you want what is best for your kids. Sometimes that means compromising or communicating with your ex. However, if you experience issues with your co-parent in sticking to set parenting plans or failing to pay support, know that Fait & DiLima, LLP can help.