Navigating the holidays after divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2023 | Divorce |

Divorce presents many challenges, and determining how to split time with kids during the holidays ranks high among them. Holidays hold a special place in the hearts of many families, making it necessary to create a plan that ensures children experience joy and comfort during these times.

A parenting plan can help prevent disagreements and make expectations realistic.

Start with communication

Open dialogue between parents is the cornerstone of any effective holiday plan. Both parties should discuss their desires, traditions and any special events they wish to share with their children. By laying all the cards on the table, parents can better understand each other’s perspectives and work towards a fair arrangement.

Establish clear schedules

A clear, detailed holiday schedule can prevent misunderstandings and disputes. List all significant holidays and decide beforehand where the kids will spend their time. Some families opt to alternate holidays yearly, while others might choose a fixed arrangement. For instance, children might spend Thanksgiving with one parent and Christmas with another every year.

Consider splitting the day

For some holidays, splitting the day could offer a solution. Children might spend the morning and afternoon with one parent, and the evening with the other. This approach allows both parents to be part of a special day, though it requires coordination and flexibility.

Prioritize the kids’ feelings and needs

Parents should always consider the wishes and emotions of their children. Some children may prefer spending certain holidays with one parent due to specific traditions or events. Taking the time to talk and listen to them can help create a schedule that respects their feelings.

Create new traditions

Divorce means change, but it also presents an opportunity to start fresh. Both parents can explore new holiday traditions with their kids. These new experiences can provide comfort, excitement and stability amidst the changes.

Stay flexible and open-minded

Situations change, and what works one year might not be suitable the next. Stay open to adjusting the holiday plan as kids grow and their needs evolve. Flexibility can help ease transitions and make the holidays enjoyable for everyone involved.

Since around half of children will experience their parents’ divorce, it’s important to know how to navigate the holidays after a divorce. Creating a plan that considers everyone’s feelings and needs can ensure that the spirit of the season shines brightly for all.