Going through a divorce can be a grueling process, especially when you have children. Not only are you and your spouse separating, but your children's family structure is also changing as well. The first holiday season after your divorce is finalized can be especially difficult for both you and your children. Here are a few ways you can ensure that your child's first holiday season with divorced parents is cheerful and full of joy, not stress.
Try To Work Together With Your Ex
In order to really ensure that your children have a happy holiday season, try to set aside the differences you have with your ex-spouse and sit down with them and plan out your children's holiday season together.
If there are certain traditions that you did as a family, see what you can do to preserve those traditions.
For example, if you have special Christmas ornaments, consider splitting the ornaments in half and having special tree decorating time at both of your homes. This year, make sure that your children get special ornaments for Christmas for both of their trees. You can even purchase the same ones so that they have identical ornaments at each of your homes going forward.
You also don't have to do everything apart. If there is a particular family tradition that you really treasure, like breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve, plan on doing these activities together as a family. You can switch off whose house you do it at in future years; the important things is for your children to see that you can still share some traditions together.
Involve Your Children
Next, involve your children in the decision making process for the holiday season. Ask your children how they want to spend their time this holiday season. Your children may have a unique idea for getting together that you did not think about.
Your children may also want to spend time with other relatives and friends this holiday season as well. Although both you and your spouse want to get as much time in with your children as possible, don't forget about the other relationships in their lives that matter to them.
If your kids really want to spend the night at their grandparents, visit a certain aunt, or hang out with friends, work with your ex-spouse to honor your child's wishes and add in time for the things that they want to do this holiday season as well.
By asking your children how they want to spend their time this holiday season, you can give them back some of the agency that they may have felt that they lost during the divorce.
Create New Traditions
Finally, you and your ex should both work to create new traditions in both of your homes. These traditions do not have to be tied to a specific holiday, but can be tied to the holiday season in general.
For example, you could do a dessert and movie night with your children to celebrate the holiday season. Or, you could go out and do a special activity together, like ice-skating or skiing. Remember, all traditions start with a first.
As you approach your first holiday season as a divorced parent, if you can, try to put aside any hurt feelings you have and work together with your ex-spouse to create a happy holiday season with your children that is focused on honoring old traditions, creating new ones, and spending time with everyone who matters to your children.
If you do run into any disputes over visitation with your ex-spouse, contacting a divorce attorney or family law attorney can help, so visit website like http://leifericksonlawoffice.com, for more information.