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Legal Review: How Divorced Parents Can Help Kids Enjoy Their Holidays

The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but it can be especially so for separated or divorced parents. With questions about how to make the holidays enjoyable for your children while avoiding conflict with your ex, it can be a difficult time of year.

But with proper planning, you can create a wonderful holiday experience for your kids. Here are some useful tips to get you started.

Be Willing to Make Sacrifices

Remember that being a parent involves making adjustments for your children. So whether you are spending the holidays with your kids or your ex, be prepared to make some compromises to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

Adapting means prioritizing your children’s well-being and being willing to make sacrifices. This could involve abandoning some of your holiday customs or declining invitations to spend time with others in favor of spending time with your children.

While sacrifices are necessary, it’s crucial to make them without letting your children feel like they are to blame. This will help prevent hurt feelings and ensure that your kids do not bear the burden of the issues between you and your ex.

Avoid Arguing in Front of the Kids

It is common to see divorced parents arguing over custody arrangements during the holidays in front of their children. Unfortunately, this can make kids feel confused and sad. It may also confuse them. 

To avoid this, do your best to keep your arguments private and out of your child’s hearing. If you are upset about something, try to deal with your emotions before interacting with your children.

Significantly, as you seek to resolve your conflicts, ensure your solution favors the well-being of your kids over your own. For example, if your ex is unwilling to let you have the children during a certain day of the holidays, you could compromise and agree to have the kids another time instead.

Avoid a Gifting Showdown

Divorced parents often experienced a common problem: the urge to outshine each other by giving their kids extravagant holiday gifts. However, a gifting competition is a no-win situation for both parents because it creates unnecessary tension instead of fostering a united front.

Ideally, it would help if you worked with your ex to decide how much to spend on your kid’s gifts. You should also listen to your ex’s opinion when deciding what to buy. Be willing to accept their input if they do not want kids to have certain gifts due to understandable reasons.

If Things Get Tough, Seek Help

“If you have tried your best to work with your ex to provide a wonderful holiday experience for your kids but still ended up in a disagreement, consider seeking professional help,” says divorce attorney Matt Towson. Talk to your lawyer about your situation and see if they have suggestions for a resolution. A divorce attorney may be able to negotiate with your ex on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair custody arrangement over the holidays.

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