If this is your first holiday season post-divorce – or if you are still in the throes of your split – the holidays can take on nightmarish qualities. All those emotions that you thought you had under control over your divorce can come rushing back and derail your progress of moving on from your ex.
It’s normal to feel adrift during the holidays, especially if this is your first holiday without the kids. Below are some tips to help you get through the holidays with your sanity intact.
1. Openly communicate with all parties
It’s not enough to communicate with your co-parent over holiday arrangements. Keep the children in the loop as well (in age-appropriate ways). This eliminates unpleasant surprises and when done right, can cultivate enthusiasm in the kids for the upcoming transition to their other parent’s home.
2. Remain flexible
Ideally, you will have a workable parenting agreement in place that details how the holiday time will be split. Inevitably, however, there will be instances where some flexibility is needed to accommodate holiday activities.
Perhaps your ex has extended family in from out of state and wants to swap some days to allow the kids time with their cousins, grandparents, etc. You and the children might want to decamp to a cabin in the Smokies for a few days over winter break during your ex’s designated parenting time. A willingness to work together enhances the best interests of the children, which should always be your goal.
3. Don’t play the out-gifting game
You can’t buy your children’s love. Nor should you overspend and make your ex’s gifts pale in comparison. When possible, it’s a good idea to collaborate on any major purchases and give them jointly to head off these harmful competitions.
Get the custody terms you desire
Ultimately, couples must reach an accord on the child custody terms or the Kentucky family law courts will set the terms of the custody order.