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How to help children over the holidays: Tips for divorced parents

Your children are the most important thing in your life. You would do anything to keep them safe, happy and healthy. So when you and your former spouse decided to file for divorce, your children were always your top priority.

Now that the holiday season is upon us, you are wondering how to help your children cope with spending the season at two different households. Here, we will address a few strategies that you can use to help your children cope with divorce over the holidays.

Review your parenting schedule

You and your former partner should start by reviewing your holiday custody schedule. Then, you will both be on the same page. If both of you agree to deviate from the schedule, you can use it as a starting-point to determine where your children should spend the holidays.

Compromise

We cannot always get what we want. At times, compromising is necessary to keep the peace. While this is not always easy, you may need to compromise on certain issues rather than be inflexible. Decide beforehand which issues merit compromise, and which merit standing your ground. Often times when one party compromises, this invites the other party to do the same.

Listen to your child's input

Your children, depending on their ages and maturity levels, can provide input on their holiday schedule. Have a frank, honest and age-appropriate discussion with them about the upcoming custody schedule. Listen to what they have to say, and consider their wishes. During this talk, you can also ask about how they feel about the divorce, their blended families and the holiday season.

Seek help elsewhere

You may no longer be married, but you do not have to go through this time of year alone. Lean on other people in your life to get through this stressful time. Talk to your friends, family and other loved ones. Address your divorce with your attorney, who can provide legal advice. You can also speak to a mental health professional or religious leader for guidance.

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