Are you a parent who's getting divorced during the holidays? Or, will this be your first holiday season as a single parent? You've probably already figured out that you'll never be completely divorced from your ex; you'll always be connected through your children and throughout life.
Even if you're furious with your ex and told them, "I never want to see you again," you still have to focus on the task at hand – raising your children in a happy, healthy, stable environment.
How can divorcing parents set aside their differences and develop an effective co-parenting relationship, especially during the holidays? Below, you will find 5 tips for surviving the holidays during or after divorce:
1. Remember, the holidays are all about the kids.
Your children deserve happy holiday celebrations even if you've been cheated out of yours. Encourage them to have a great time with your ex, even if it staying alone saddens you.
2. Kids need love more than money.
Your time, love and attention are more important to your kids than expensive gifts. You may be short on money this year, but that doesn't have to mean you're short on love.
3. Communicate openly with your ex.
An email, voicemail or text message can ensure that the kids don't get duplicate presents and back-to-back feasts aren't scheduled. A few minutes now can save days or weeks of being frustrated later.
4. Prepare a detailed schedule.
Work out exactly what the kids will be doing and when. Coordinate with the other parent so you know when, where and how gift exchanges will take place. Not only will your children have something to look forward to, they'll feel more secure and disappointment can be averted.
5. Establish yearly traditions.
Establish family traditions with your children, or continue the ones that you have been doing. While your kids may not remember what you did in 2010, year-in, year-out traditions will stay with them forever.