Kids everywhere wait in anxious anticipation for the holidays, in particular, Christmas, because it means endless cookies, get-togethers with family, and most of all – presents! For the children of the separated or newly divorced parents, however, it also means a certain amount of anxiety over who does what, when, where, and how.
As with almost everything in their lives, kids take their cue from Mom and Dad – if they handle it well, with minimal disruption, the kids will too. Even if things aren’t as they used to be, it doesn’t mean they can’t still be surrounded by holiday experiences creating positive memories.
Children need structure and being able to count on something year after year. When negotiating parental time, especially at Christmas, perhaps each parent could give a little in favor of their children to provide structure, familiarity, and normalcy, even though things may never be the same as it once was.
Instead of alternating every holiday every year, consider something like ‘Every Christmas Eve with Mom, and Every Christmas Day with Dad’. That way, every year, without fail, the children can count on the same time with each parent and their extended families, creating new traditions and memories.
Just because things may never be the same as they once were, doesn’t mean that new traditions can’t be started. Things didn’t work out for you and your ex, but you can still work together to provide good memories and new traditions with your children that they will look forward to and look back on when they get older with fondness.
It’s not too late to start. Even if your ex “doesn’t get it”, you can do your part. A little compromise is better than a big battle. Do your part even if your part may not be matched. Your children will appreciate it and be better for it.
Just a thought…