If this is your first holiday season since your divorce, your kids are likely feeling the impact just as much as you are. Your children will need time and space to grieve concerning the loss of certain holiday traditions and may feel that they are caught between you and their other parent. You and your ex may also have mixed feelings about the holiday season, which is why communication is important. If you’re a New Jersey resident, here are a few practical tips for celebrating the holidays while co-parenting.
Don’t get competitive
After your divorce, you may feel that you have to compete with your ex to give your children the best Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa possible. Instead of trying to plan “better” activities than your ex, see if you can work together to do something special for the kids this year. Or, you can take the kids to an activity like a holiday light display and your ex can take them ice skating the next day. Remember that the children come first and the holiday season should still be a time of celebration for them.
Put your divorce proceedings on hold
If your divorce is not yet final, postpone the proceedings until the holiday season is over. If you’ve been negotiating about finances, it may be best to put this on hold as well. This allows the both of you to focus on the kids instead of having to attend mediation meetings.
Create new traditions
If you and your ex have decided that you’re going to divide holidays between the two of you, create new traditions with your kids when they’re at your house for Christmas. Ask your children which activities they enjoy and make them a part of the holiday planning as you create new family rituals and fond memories.