The holidays are often a time when families come together to celebrate. However, for children of divorce, holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s only remind them of what they have lost due to their parents’ divorce. That’s why it’s so important for divorced parents to work together to help their kids enjoy the holiday season.
Tips for Divorced Parents to Help Their Children Through the Holidays
There are several situations that divorced parents must tackle to help their children through the holidays, including but not limited to the following:
- Routines – Children, and people in general, are used to following routines during the holidays. For instance, maybe when their parents were married, they always opened their gifts together as a family on Christmas morning. However, since their parents are divorced, that’s no longer the case, which can be difficult for children to accept. While changes to certain routines are inevitable, if possible, at least for the first year or two, parents should try to keep a few routines the same.
- Guilt – Children of divorce are often under the mistaken impression that the divorce is their fault no matter how many times their parents assure them they’re not. This can lead to feelings of guilt. The best way to help children deal with their guilt is to keep an eye out for specific moments where the kid is showing signs of feeling guilty and reassure them that the divorce is not their fault. In those moments, parents need to sit down and talk to their children and tell them that not washing the dishes had nothing to do with why their father left.
The most important thing for parents to do to help children of divorce is keep the lines of communication open with each other and their kids. Keeping up to date on how their children are feeling and deciding the best way to deal with the issues together should help make the divorce easier for their kids to handle.