Guiding Your Children Through the Holidays During a Divorce
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 conflict and Arguments with your ex in front of children.
Young children may not be able to vocalize their feelings the way adults can, but they are highly perceptive and can tell when tension is high. You can help keep unnecessary stress and confusion 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.
Have children 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 with both parents.
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. 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 (503) 395-0244.