Christmas is approaching fast. While divorce might take away a lot of the seasonal stress – no more having to be polite with the inlaws – it can add plenty more, especially if you have children.
If this is the first Christmas since you and your spouse split, your children may struggle. Here are some tips to help them through it:
Do not let it become a competition
Maybe you can afford to buy your seven-year-old a new MacBook Pro this Christmas. It doesn’t mean that you should, as it could have negative side effects.
Perhaps they will feel guilty about being so happy about your present when they know their other parent can’t afford the same. Maybe your ex-spouse might accuse you of trying to buy your child’s favor, or maybe they will blow their budget to try and outdo you.
Time and peace is the best present you can give your child
When they say Christmas is a time of goodwill to all, that should include your co-parent. Staying civil will make for a more relaxing Christmas for your children (and for you).
If you did not take good account of special occasions such as Christmas in your parenting schedule, consider a bit of flexibility. While it might be one of your turns to be with the kids on the 25th, your children would probably prefer to see you both if at all possible, at least for a bit. You could also consider giving them two Christmases, one on the 25th with you and your family and one on the 26th with the other side of the family (or vice versa).
Whatever you do this Christmas, put your children’s best interests first. Seek legal help to learn more about creating parenting schedules around important dates.