Following a divorce, the holiday season can be an emotionally distressing time for children to cope with. The instability and tumultuous change of separation can create an intense burden on your children, creating a bittersweet feeling during the holidays. If you have recently separated from your spouse or are currently in the divorce process, there are several things you can do to help your children during the holiday season.
1. Make Plans Ahead of Time
The holidays can be a difficult time of year if a child is forced to divide his or her time between two separate households. If possible, it is extremely important that you coordinate with your spouse and set aside time for your children to be able to spend time with both parents at separate times during the holiday season. Have your children spend time with one parent on the actual holiday, with time for the other parent scheduled for a nearby date.
Establishing plans well ahead of time can help your children know exactly where they will be and who they will be with, providing a certain level of stability during this time of great change. This will allow your children to spend sufficient quality time with both parents.
2. Talk to Your Children
Communicating with your kids is crucial to helping them understand the situation and prepare for what is to come. Let them know what will stay the same, what will be different, and what they should expect. It is highly likely that your children are experiencing a great deal of pain. Listen to what they have to say. Avoiding this conversation will likely make this period even more difficult for your children.
3. Record a Message or Video Chat
The holidays can feel very different for children when one parent is noticeably absent. If you cannot physically be with your children on a holiday due to a fixed visitation schedule, record a short message or video chat with your children to express your love and wish them a happy holiday. This small gesture can help ease some of the discomfort of this transitionary time.
4. Give Gifts Without Strings
One of the most common traps that recently divorced parents will fall into is to attempt to win a child's favor by giving them extravagant gifts. Gift giving should not be a competition with the other parent, as this can worsen an already tense situation. Divide your child's holiday wish list with your ex-spouse and give gifts equally. This will place less pressure on your children to pick a side, allowing them to enjoy the holidays without any unnecessary guilt.
Contact Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated
Divorce can be an extremely emotional experience, especially during the holiday season. At Scott Mitchell Law Incorporated, our Modesto family lawyers understand your struggle and are here to help you get through this difficult time as smoothly as possible. With more than 1,500 cases handled, we can provide the compassionate and skilled legal representation you need to help you pursue an amicable solution to your marital separation.
Contact our firm online or call (209) 529-7406 today to discuss your situation.