Dealing with family dynamics during the holidays can be stressful for everyone. But when you are divorced and have a child with your ex, it can be almost unbearable for parents and children. Organizing visitation schedules and parenting time for Christmas can be an emotionally charged issue. It’s important in these cases to remain calm and ensure that your child or children don’t get caught in the cross hairs. Here are some tips for surviving the holidays with kids when you’re divorced.

  1. Be nice to your ex. Children will notice if you and your ex are having a tiff. Do your best to remain cordial with your ex. Don not let any personal issues get in the way of your child’s holiday experience. Put your child(ren) first and table any ongoing issues you have with your ex.
  2. Include your child(ren) in the planning. Kids often feel powerless when their parents get divorced. Bringing them into the holiday planning process can provide them some sense of control over the situation. Ask them what they want to do for the holiday and take that into account when you are making your plans.
  3. Work to create new holiday traditions. It’s difficult to maintain past family traditions after getting a divorce. So when you can’t keep old traditions, make new ones instead. Past traditions can be linked to negative emotions after a divorce. Avoid bringing up these associations by changing things up.