After a divorce, holidays can be difficult for both the parents and children. Since emotions such as anger, sadness, fear and betrayal can emerge, the loss of traditions could be devastating. Despite these feelings, parents need to focus on their children during this time.
Parents may need to turn elsewhere to get emotional support. For example, friends, family members and even a therapist could be helpful. Above all, parents must allow the well-being of their children to take priority over their own situations. This means they should not try to punish the other parent by refusing to let them see the child during the holidays. After all, this ends up punishing the child too.
Parents also need to create a specific plan for the holidays and share it with their children. Uncertainty can be stressful for children, and knowing exactly what to expect and where they will be for the holidays can reduce some of that stress. Parents should keep in mind that the object should be for children to enjoy themselves and that they are not in competition with their ex. They should let the children choose how much they want to share about their time with the other parent. Parents also need to be patient during this time.
Where the child will spend holidays may be decided when parents negotiate custody and visitation arrangements. Family law courts usually try to make sure that children are able to build relationships with both parents. Whether the schedule is decided by the court or the parents, there are a number of different approaches to the holiday. The children might alternate spending the holidays with one parent or the other in different years, or they could split time between households during each holiday.