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Divorced? Navigating the holidays with kids

The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but California residents who split time with their children may have an especially difficult time. There is often contention between both parents, which can affect the children. Single parents can also feel alone and sad when it is not their turn to have the kids for the holiday.

Recent information by U.S. News & World Report gives some advice on how divorced parents can co-parent and create happy memories with their children during any holiday:

  • Know ahead of time whose home the children will be visiting during the holiday, and prepare the children in advance.
  • If this is the first holiday after the divorce, talk to the children about how the holidays will be different, and explain that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
  • Be creative, open-minded and optimistic when planning new traditions and activities for the holidays, including having festivities with the children on a different day.
  • Don’t be lonely on a non-visitation holiday – spend time with family and friends, volunteer for a good cause or find some ways to enjoy the downtime alone.
  • Remember the children’s feelings during the holiday and try to set aside differences with the ex for the kids’ benefit.
  • Be patient – new schedules and traditions will take time to get used to.

Effective co-parenting takes communication, cooperation and adjustment, but many divorced parents eventually reach compromises they can work with, even during the holidays. However, in some cases, parents may need to seek experienced counsel after their divorce to uphold or modify a custody agreement.

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