How to Spend Your First Holiday as a Separated Family
The holidays are normally centered around family, so enduring the first year as a separated family can be the most difficult. To help get through it and keep it together this year for your kids, follow these steps on how to spend your first holiday as a separated family without feeling like a detached parent.
Focus on the Holidays, Not Your Ex
It’s likely that your kids have already experienced a number of unsettling holidays during the divorce and are looking forward to a happier one. So, you’ll have to be extra careful to not make an already difficult situation for your children any worse. To ensure the first holiday as a separated family goes smoothly, avoid talking about your ex-spouse at all costs. Instead, try to focus on your children and how you can make this the greatest holiday they’ve had in a while.
Don’t Take It Personally
If your kids want to spend more time with the other family, try your best to not get offended. Often times kids want to spend more time with the family that has other children with their own age. Plus, dividing up time between parents can take some time to sort out and get used to for everyone. It won’t make your situation any better if you accuse your ex of monopolizing their time, it will only leave your kids feeling guilty. Instead, let your children know that you’d like to spend more time together at the next holiday celebration and give them the freedom to make the schedule.
Avoid Becoming Competitive
If your primary goal is to outdo your ex this holiday, it will likely backfire. Buying elaborate presents that the other parent can’t afford will only teach your children to value material things over love. They may confuse your lavish gifts as a substitute for your love, especially if you don’t spend a lot of time with them. Talk to your ex about setting a price limit that is fair for you both, so it doesn’t turn into a competition.
Plan in Advance
Having a detailed schedule that outlines where your children will be, for how long, and when will help make them feel more secure and avoid any disappointments. Also, work things out in advance with your family to make sure everyone understands the situation at hand. The last thing you want is a sibling talking slandering your ex and ruining the mood over dinner.
Don’t Bring Around Anyone New
Separation can be a very confusing time for children. Adding another person to the mix right away will only heighten emotions even more for them. It’s best to wait to introduce a new partner into the scene after the holidays.
If you’re going through a separation and need advice on how to handle the situation, contact us at Zuber and Brioux today.