Boys Town releases advice for parents about the best way to handle the holidays after a divorce. A divorce is a life-changing event for all involved. But this goes double for the children, especially if they’re young. And the first holiday season post-separation can be quite difficult. So handling the holidays after a divorce can take some extra thought and effort.
You want your children to feel how loved they are by both of their parents. You don’t want them to feel guilty for spending time with the other parent. “You really need to support and encourage the relationship with the other parent, even if you don’t feel like it,” said Boys Town psychologist, Dr. Connie J. Schnoes.
Here are three other things to remember when dealing with the holidays following divorce.
- Think about the Children First. First and foremost, remember the children. No matter how you and your ex-spouse feel about each other, you both love your children, and they need to understand and experience this. This means that you need to keep any negative feelings towards your ex to yourself.
- Don’t Overcompensate. There is a temptation to overcompensate for a divorce by “buying your children’s love” at holiday time. Trying to outdo the other parent by purchasing more or higher priced presents won’t make your children love you any more; it will only confuse them and inflate your credit card bill.
- Plan Schedules That Work! The holiday season can be demanding enough as it is; as a recently divorced single parent, it can be even more difficult. As you are planning schedules keep the children in mind. Be thoughtful about timing of transitions for the children keeping in mind traditions, sleep and meal schedules. These things are more important than making sure you and your ex have equal holiday time. Also take care of yourself. Make time to unwind and relax every day. This will help you be a better parenting during this challenging time.
Remember, the most important people in this relationship are the children. Their health, well-being, and development are really important.
You can find out more about parenting after a divorce in the Today’s Families guide.
About Boys Town
For 100 years, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs. In 2015, almost 500,000 children and families across the United States were impacted by Boys Town programs. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline. You can find more information about Boys Town online at www.Boystown.org.