Parents often try to focus on the positives of holidays when going through a divorce. You’ll get to celebrate twice! There will be two trees and two turkeys! Lots of presents! Tons of fun!
In reality a doubled up approach to holidays can be overwhelming for children, particularly when it’s new and they are still processing the change in their family. While it might seem great to promise double the amount of holiday fun, in reality, it can be confusing and tiring. Follow these tips to keep your child happy and prevent their holiday from imploding:
- Stick to schedules. Naps, bedtime, and mealtimes should stay normal for young kids. It’s tempting to make an exception because it’s a special occasion, but you will almost always pay for that decision.
- Don’t compare. Asking your child to compare your Thanksgiving with Mom’s creates sadness and conflict in your child. Instead be happy for what your child experiences and don’t create a competition.
- Create downtime. If you are picking a young child up from your ex’s Thanksgiving and going straight to your family’s, it may be too much. If at all possible, make time to breathe.
- Know when it’s enough. While tons of family, piles of gifts, and tables of amazing food sound like a dream, in reality it gets overwhelming. Don’t overstay so that your child becomes exhausted and overwhelmed.
- Listen without quizzing. Your child will likely happily babble on about what happened at the other parent’s home. Your job is to listen without drilling your child about the details or making judgments.
- Clue in your family. Let them know how you’re handling things and encourage them not to speak poorly of your ex, ask your child if he’s sad about not being with Daddy or try to compensate for the divorce with crazy gift-giving.
Call DeTorres & DeGeorge for help with your custody and divorce case.