Wintertime is often regarded by folks in Georgia and elsewhere as either a magical time or a dreaded time. There are few who are on the fence about it, but some newly single parents may find themselves leaning toward the dreaded time this year. It can be difficult to get through the season being jolly when you’re still trying to figure out how to be a co-parent in your new family dynamic, but understanding the foundation of your child custody situation can help you plan to make the new holiday traditions not so scary for you and your kids this year.
For divorced parents, holidays can sometimes be even more difficult because they may be staying with your previous spouse instead of you. Remembering that their world has just been shaken up as well can help you keep your cool during the season. The holiday season can be magical for children, so throwing yourself into making it a wonderful experience for their benefit is a good way to give you something to do. Working on projects with them and for them can both occupy you and let them see that things are still going to be okay this year.
One thing that will likely come up is which traditions you’re going to do this holiday season. It could be a great time to create some new ones: engage your kids and ask them what they want to do this year. Making it an exciting new adventure can help keep their minds off of the upset in their household, too. Keeping in mind that your ex may want to do some things you’d like to and having that discussion before the season is upon us can help ease tension when the holidays do arrive. Also, making sure to plan so that the kids don’t feel like they’re being bad by going with one parent over the other can help keep the discussions civil. Children of divorce often can feel guilty about leaving one parent on a holiday, so talking with them about how that’s okay could help ease their worries.
Finally, it is a good thing to remember that the gift giving does not need to be a competition. You can discuss what you’d like to get your kids with your ex to make sure they don’t get it, but it doesn’t need to go further than being respectful of their gifts. You now have your own time with the kids, so make the most of it. Georgia parents going through a divorce and entering the holiday season could make sure they understand the terms of their custody agreement in an effort to alleviate any disputes later on.
Source: The Huffington Post, “O, Come All ye Newly Single Parents: How to Get Through the Holidays Without Singing The Blues,” Christina Pesoli, Oct. 19, 2012