Holidays can be stressful, and divorce is tough. When the two are combined, both parents and children may suffer. If the separation or divorce is new, a family may be dealing with difficult emotions such as fear, loss, sadness and betrayal. However, California parents can still take steps to help their children enjoy the holiday season.
For starters, parents need a way of dealing with their own emotions so they won't interfere with their focus on the children. In some cases, seeing a therapist or counselor may be helpful. Parents should avoid taking out any anger by limiting the child's visitation time with the ex. Instead, parents should make a fair holiday plan and share it with the children. Once the children know what to expect, some of their anxiety may be relieved.
Parents should also avoid treating the holidays like a competition. In fact, it's better to encourage the kids to enjoy themselves with the other parent. One should not question the children when they return from the other parent's home. Instead, kids should be encouraged to share as much as they are comfortable with, and parents should listen without judgment. Patience during this time is important as children will adjust to the new arrangement eventually.
During the divorce process, patience and civility are also important. Parents should always put the children's best interests first when negotiating custody agreements. It is generally believed that children will adjust better if the divorce is lower in conflict and they are able to spend time with both parents. Lawyers could help a couple get through the process in a civil manner.