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Handling Holidays After Divorce

Happy Holiday's Star

Happy Holiday’s Star

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time when a couple has divorced. Old memories, good and bad, fun and painful, can be brought to the forefront this time of year. But even though things change, there are always ways to make it work, and to teach your children about handling change. The biggest factor that impacts how it will work out is our attitude. Choosing to make the best of the new situation is the approach most likely to work best for your children as well as yourself.

There are some options to choose from on how to spend the day:

  1. Split the day: One parent spends Thanksgiving morning with the children, the other parent spends the afternoon or evening.
  2. Alternate years: One parent has the children on even years, the other on odd years.
  3. Choose a different day: One parent has the children on the holiday, the other chooses to celebrate on the weekend before or after the holiday.

Whichever option you choose, make it fun. If you decide to celebrate the weekend before the holiday, don’t spend the entire day grumbling about how you won’t be with them on the exact day. Be present for them on the day you have them, make it a fun day, a day of new traditions to celebrate with them. You’ll be showing them that life will always have changes, but it’s how you choose to handle those changes that determine the ability to adapt and be happy.

Nancy Keaton

Nancy is the Program Manager of Child & Family Studies at Centralia College.

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