This time of year can be hard for any busy family, let alone a family that are considering making major life changes such as a divorce or dealing with a separation. As a parent, this can be an especially stressful time for children. Their concerns about spending time with happy and loving parents are the most important things to them, and it should be the top priority for both parents to ensure that the children have a happy holiday.
Still Living Under One Roof?
If you are still living in the same home, this is the time to put your problems to the side and truly move your childrens’ happiness at the top of your holiday list. By ensuring that the time that you spend together as a family is happy, and positive, you are putting your children first. Although this may be easier said than done, and it may be difficult to push down any feelings of hurt or resentment, remember that this will mean a lot to your children. You don’t want them looking back in time to that time that “Mommy and Daddy fought on Christmas.” It is also important to express that because you are dealing with the situation with positivity, that it does not mean that you are getting back together. You do not want to create false hope, but you also want to show that you can be a grown up about the situation.
If you have already separated, it is important that the children feel they are able to spend quality time with both parents equally. Make sure to discuss the arrangements and timeline with the other parent to make sure that the children get to see both sides of the family. Often times, children can feel like they are missing out or that they are caught up in the chaos of their parent’s situation. Each child is different so determining a schedule that will be the best fit for their lives and personalities will help them to enjoy the holidays. Be clear with your ex-spouse about this by setting clearly defined timelines and expectations. This will ensure easy exection of your agreed upon plan.
Spending the Holidays Together
Some families determine that it is best for their families to completely put aside their differences and spend time with their children and extended family from both sides. While this may sound unconventional, it can work in situations where families are cooperative and really focused on co-parenting in the best way for their children. The flipside of this situation is if there is a family member that does not agree with this situation. As the parent of your child, it is your responsibility to bring this to their attention and let them know that you are working towards the greater good for your children and you ask that they join you in that journey. Remind them that your focus is on your child’s happiness above your own. Ask them to be kind, cordial, and like you, think about the greater good.
From a Bird’s Eye View
Your positive behavior towards your soon-to-be ex-spouse is also an opportunity for you to teach your children many lessons about perseverance, and treating people right at all times. Remembering that you are always a living example of how you want your children to live can help you when you are doing things that you are not happy about.
Working together for the holidays can feel like just another stress to add to the season. By remembering that your children are the most important thing to you and by focusing on the bigger picture and their happiness, you can keep things in perspective. The reasons why you are doing things will often times help you to make hard decisions and push through situations that are difficult.
Maintaining a “child-focused” attitude will make certain that the holidays are the best that they can be for them. This is a celebratory time, and the worst thing that could happen would be to spend the holidays on edge with conflict or hostility towards your ex-spouse. It is not the time to discuss the arrangements following your divorce or discuss custody arrangements, it is a time to embrace the holiday spirit and be thankful for the people in your life that you love, in a way that works best for your family.
We have a few other tips for Surviving the Holidays While Dealing with Divorce.
The holidays can be a difficult period of time when you are dealing with a divorce, but at Seff & Capizzi we are prepared to help you through the process. We regularly assist clients with their divorce cases and provide valuable information for those that need assistance in understanding how to approach this situation in their own lives.
If you need assistance with your divorce, please call us at (954) 920-9220. We have over 40 years of experience and offer a free consultation. Click here for more information about our family law practice and how Seff & Capizzi can help.