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Tips for navigating the holidays with children after divorce

| Dec 4, 2018 | Family Law |

One of the hardest periods for parents and children in Alabama after a divorce is the holidays. Parents and children may feel a range of emotions including loss, fear, anger and sadness. However, it is the responsibility of the parents to manage those emotions in a way that allows them to focus on the children during the holidays. This means parents must set aside their feelings toward one another to ensure that children are still able to enjoy themselves.

Parents might need to talk to family and friends or to a therapist in order to deal with their own emotions. They must not try to prevent the child from seeing the other parent because of a desire to get revenge on that parent. Instead, they should encourage their children to enjoy their time with the other parent. Parents do need to make a plan for the holidays and share it with their children. It will reduce stress for the children if they know what to expect.

When children get home, parents should not meet their return with a lot of questions. They should wait for children to share as much as they are comfortable sharing, listen with interest and avoid making judgmental remarks. Parents will also need patience during this adjustment period as everyone gets used to a new set of traditions.

Sometimes, parents will make plans for holidays and vacations as part of their negotiations about child custody, or a judge will include it in the custody and visitation schedule created by the court. Parents might want to negotiate other parenting issues during the divorce as well. Some people create a parenting agreement that addresses such things as how to keep rules consistent between both their households or how to handle it if one parent starts seeing someone new.