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Keeping the holidays enjoyable for the kids post-divorce

It can be tough on a kid when their parents divorce. Such a divorce can stir up all sorts of different emotional worries and concerns for a child. Thus, when parents get divorced, it is very important for them to keep their kids needs and feelings at heart and to do what they can to help their kids deal with the divorce and the new family reality it brings about.

A couple of examples of ways parents may be able to help make a divorce go easier on their kids are by working hard to ensure that the child custody/support agreements reached in the divorce are well-aligned with their children's best interests and by doing what they can to make the process of reaching such agreements not be overly emotionally taxing on the kids.

Another thing that can be important when it comes to helping a child deal with a divorce is helping them through times that can be particularly difficult for a child after a divorce. One of these times is the holidays. The holidays are supposed to be a fun time for kids. However, following a divorce, the feelings the divorce stirs up and anxiety over changes in how the holidays are celebrated may make it more difficult for a child to enjoy the holidays. Thankfully, there are things divorced parents can do to try to help make the holidays the enjoyable experience they are supposed to be for their kids. Here are some tips in this regard:

  • Set aside some holiday 1-on-1 time with each of the kids.
  • Expand the number of friends and extended family members invited over for holiday events/gatherings. This could help the kids feel less lonely.
  • Assign some of the important holiday tasks to the kids. This can help kids feel like they are playing an important role in the holidays. 
  • Carefully coordinate with one's ex when it comes to the holiday plans. This could help reduce the chances of disputes arising between you and your ex during the holidays, which is important as such disputes could be emotionally tough on the kids. 
  • With the help and input of the kids, develop new holiday traditions.

What do you think are some of the best ways, after a divorce, to help keep the holidays fun for the kids? 

Source: Huffington Post, "Starting New Holiday Traditions After a Divorce," Gail Gross, Nov. 26, 2014

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