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The first holiday after divorce and the children

Holidays are an essential part of many individuals’ childhoods and feature majorly in the formation of lasting memories. After a divorce, they have the potential to be fraught with tension and stress for the children as well as the adults (for whom this time may already mentally straining).

For the offspring of recently divorced or divorcing parents, the holidays may represent a time when everything was seemingly perfect — one that is now irrevocably altered. However, while circumstances may be different, these events still offer the chance for a magical experience if handled carefully.

Ask — do not assume

Parents need to consider their children’s wants and put them first. The parenting time plan developed during the divorce generally contains a section addressing holidays and vacations. When negotiating the plan, it is imperative to ask the offspring what their preferences are to minimize conflict and ensure a schedule that is more likely to make them happy. Parents who assume they know what is the most ideal holiday arrangement without asking the parties most affected may cause their children unhappiness and anger.

Co-parent — do not compete

By communicating clearly with each other, parents may avoid problems with timing and other issues. For instance, coordinating gifts helps avoid the purchase of identical ones. Avoiding trying to one-up each other by spending the most money on presents or events also helps since children tend to dislike seeing their parents fight. Choosing to share the day gives the children the joy of having both parents with them.

By working with each other and taking into account their children’s desires, recently split parents may make the first holiday after their divorce more enjoyable for their offspring.