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With Easter coming, I found it fitting to talk about the holidays.
In years past, the holidays were a time of joy, excitement and anticipation. Now, the holidays are stressful, full of anxiety, and not always enjoyable. If you do not use your co-parenting skills, this can be a dreaded situation.There are multiple things that you should think of when you are trying to deal with the holidays.
Plan which holidays you and your ex will have at the beginning of the year. When determining which holidays the kids will spend with you and which holidays they will spend with the other parent, always ask yourself if you are acting in the best interest of the child/children. Take traditions into consideration when making these decisions, this way the kids will not miss out on traditions that may be used to or may be important to them. Remember the holidays are not all about you. Your children deserve to enjoy the celebrations even if you do not like the outcome.
Create new holiday rituals and traditions with the kids. You may want to hold on to past holidays traditions, but it is good to create new rituals with friends and family. Consider celebrating the holidays on a different day, and let the kids know that the holidays will continue just in different ways. Take time with the kids to come up with new ideas for celebrating, this can be fun and exciting for everyone. Teach the kids the true meaning of the holidays. The attention, time, emotional commitment and presence you give your children will be the memories they never forget.
When the actual holidays come, make sure you preplanned exactly where and how exchanges will be made. Always reassure the kids that you will be OK while they are away and encourage the kids to have a blast with the other parent. While the kids are away it will be emotionally difficult, so surround yourself with people who love you and do not isolate yourself. It may seem that being alone rather then with others who are married and have children would be easier but the reality is that we all need to be surrounded by people when we are going through difficult times. These people help us remember that we have a lot to be thankful for and help us laugh and take our mind off the emotional struggle we are facing.
At the end of the holiday when the kids come back to you, they may be tired, stressed out and irritable from the long day. They will probably feel bad for not spending time with you or they may just be plain tired. Kids do not always know how to express their feelings, or they may not want to express their feelings in fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. Be flexible, patient and understanding, for it can be very stressful for the kids to transition after a holiday.