HOW TO KEEP THE HOLIDAYS HAPPY FOR CHILDREN POST-DIVORCE
December is almost here, which means the winter holidays are upon us. Most parents in Colorado want their child to have a good holiday season, but parents who are divorced may wonder what they can do to ensure that the animosity they may have with their ex-spouse does not tarnish their child’s holiday memories. While the navigating the holidays as a divorced parent can be complicated, there are things that can be done now to ensure the holidays run smoothly.
First, parents should review their holiday parenting time schedule sooner rather than later. Their parenting time schedule will likely have provisions laying out which parent has the child on which holidays. For example, a child might spend Christmas morning with one parent and Christmas afternoon with the other. By reviewing their parenting time orders early, parents have the chance to ask the court for any modifications that might need to be made if the current order is no longer feasible. It can also provide both children and their parents with a sense of stability if they know what to expect.
It can be useful for parents to also remember that even though they are divorced, they are both still working together to raise their child and there will be times when they both must be present for their child. They may both attend a child’s holiday choir concert, for example. Parents can also take steps to help the child develop a loving relationship with both of them. For example, a parent can help their child pick out a gift for the child to give to their other parent. This shows the child that each parent wants them to have a meaningful relationship with both of them, even if they are divorced.
By being prepared, knowing what to expect and by putting the best interests of the child first, there are many ways divorced parents can ensure their child’s holiday season is one of joy, rather than stress. Happy memories can be made even if a child’s parents are divorced. New traditions can be started that hold just as much meaning as old ones, but it is important for parents to remember that even though they are no longer a couple, they are still connected to one another through their child. So, they will want to give some thought soon to the upcoming holiday season, to ensure there are no unwanted surprises or conflicts.