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Keeping the holidays good for the kids post-divorce

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Many individuals here in Minnesota look forward to this holiday a great deal. For individuals going through a divorce though, the approach of Thanksgiving and other notable holidays can sometimes be a source of significant apprehension.

A divorce greatly changes a family and its structure, so it also generally has a big effect on how a family celebrates holidays. There are many worries a divorcing individual may have when it comes to these changes. One is how these changes will affect their children's holiday experience. Today, we will discuss some of the things parents can do to help their kids with adjusting to the holiday-related changes divorce brings about.

One is to avoid fighting with one's ex around the kids during the holidays. Thus, it can be important for a parent to do their best to steer clear of situations that could lead to such fights when around the kids. Also, having a clear plan with one's ex regarding the kids for the holidays can help with argument-prevention, as setting out a clear plan in advance could help eliminate some potential sources of disputes when holiday time comes around.

Another thing divorcing parents can do to help their kids is give the kids a fair amount of predictability when it comes to the holidays. This includes clearly explaining to the kids how the holidays will be celebrated this year and who they will be spending the holidays with. It also includes putting a high priority on sticking to the holiday plan that has been set out. Deviating from the plan could not only make things more unpredictable for the kids, it also, depending on the nature of the deviation, could lead to a parent running afoul of the terms of a custody agreement.

It can also be important for divorcing parents to keep things positive around the kids during the holidays. This can include things like keeping their own conversations with the kids positive in tone and setting ground rules for friends and family members regarding what they can ask the kids and say to the kids about the divorce.

What other things would you recommend to divorcing parents when it comes to helping make the holidays a good time for the kids?

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Surviving Divorce: Holidays Can Be Especially Challenging," Nov. 18, 2015

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