For many children, the holiday season is the most anticipated time of the
year. However, it can be a very stressful and emotional time for a child
to endure if their parents are in the midst of a divorce or have recently
split up. As parents deal with their own emotions and challenges, it can
be hard to know exactly what to do to comfort and support their children
during this time.
We have put together a few tips to help you protect your children’s
well-being and help them enjoy the holidays during (or soon after) a divorce.
Avoid engaging in conflict with your ex-spouse in front of your children.
Young children may not be able to vocalize their feelings like adults can,
but they are highly perceptive and can tell when tension is high. You
can help keep unnecessary stress and confusion out of their holiday season
by refraining from arguing with your ex-spouse in front of them. Remember
that you want your children to remember happy holiday memories, not memories
of arguments or unhappiness.
Make a list of things to be thankful for.
One of the best things you can do for your children is to create a positive
atmosphere during the holidays. A great way to do this is to sit down
with them and put together a list of all the things that you and they
are thankful for. This can include anything from good health, the presents
in their stockings, food on the table, and more. This can become a tradition
that you can enjoy each Christmas for years to come.
Create a schedule.
While you and your spouse may be experiencing difficulty during this time
of the year, it is important to allow your children to spend time with
both of their parents, if it is safe to do so. With this in mind, try
to work cooperatively with your ex-spouse to come up with a schedule that
works for both of you.
Consider volunteering with your kids.
One of the best ways to teach your children compassion, empathy, tolerance,
and gratitude is to engage in volunteer work, according to Parents Magazine.
If your children are struggling with your divorce during the holidays,
committing to a cause with your kids can not only bring you closer together,
but give them a feeling of satisfaction and pride in themselves and their family.
For more information on how to prioritize healthy family relationships
during and after divorce, check out our Healthy Families guide: Can Divorced Families be Healthy Families?
Our Portland Family Law Attorneys are Here to Help
If you are a parent who is contemplating divorce or who needs assistance
with a family law matter after a separation, we invite you to
contact McKinley Irvin to speak with a Portland divorce lawyer about your case.
Our goal is to help you find favorable solutions while safeguarding the
best interests of you and your children. Our office can be reached at