A columnist’s advice on divorce, kids and the holiday season

David Wygant is an author and divorce columnist. Annually, and just about this time of year, he thinks back to his family’s first Christmas following his parents’ divorce when he was a teenager.

He’s not too fond of the memory. Parental fighting over gifts in an attempt to curry his favor — in his words: “which parent can buy the better present and win you over” — bothered him and ruined the holiday.”

Even at the age of 19, he says that, “It didn’t make me feel good.”

With that memory permanently frozen in place, Wygant has been motivated since to turn to parents who are in the process of divorcing during the holidays and offering them some sincere, heartfelt and softly delivered advice, namely, this: Commit to backing off from the battle and keeping Christmas magical for the kids.

Wygant says it’s really not that hard to forgo discussion for a few days of things like child custody, property division, child support and any other sticking points concerning a split. Granted, such things won’t go away, but, as Wygant says, “Put it aside and just co-parent together during this holiday time.”

That will make the kids happy and retain the absolutely magical quality of the season that exists for them, especially younger children.

And when adults think back on early memories of Santa, presents, happy families, good food and so forth, it is not hard to remember and realize the importance of that to any child.

The divorce details can wait for just a few days, says Wygant.

And there’s this bonus in getting on the same page for a divorcing couple: It’s hard not to share in the joy of seeing the kids happy.

Source: Huffington Post, “This holiday season, love thy ex,” David Wygant, Dec. 20, 2012

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