We are coming up on some of the most difficult times of the year when parents are newly separated or even divorced-Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. The bottom line is-holidays will be different but they can be less stressful with planning. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Children can adapt to different rituals. They can eat a traditional meal at a non-traditional time. They can eat a non-traditional meal and turn it into a “new tradition”. They can open presents on a different day. They can light candles in a different house. A plan and the attitude of the parents can make all the difference to the children.
What day are they going to be with one parent? Are they going to split the day between the parents? What have you been your family’s traditions? Some of them can be changed. It may be necessary to explain to extended family that timing for an event may need to be modified. Money is an additional stress at the holidays. If you talk to the other parent, discuss who will buy what items on a wish list. These should be events the children can remember without conflict between their parents or extended family.
A solid plan can accomplish that. If you do not have a plan in place for the holidays-do it now-in writing in order to make sure that everyone, especially the children, know what to expect.