If so, we’ve got you covered. We’re about to break down seven things that you need to consider when your children will be with the other parent during the holidays.
1. Get into The Holiday Spirit
The holidays are at the time for forgiving, selflessness and brand-new starts. Try to let go of old grudges, worn-out anger, and any resentment. Treasure what you still have – your children – even if you won’t have them during the holidays.
Take this opportunity to teach your children, when you’re with them, all about the true meaning of the holiday spirit. Teach them that the holidays are about appreciating what you have and being selfless with others.
2. Avoid Telling Your Kids How Much You’ll Miss Them
We know this can be difficult, but telling your kids over and over again that you’ll miss them when they’re with your ex can be damaging to them. It places an unwarranted amount of pressure on them, and it will weigh on them during the holiday season.
3. Tell Your Kids to Have a Great Holiday
Instead of telling them how much you’ll miss them, simply wish them a great holiday season with their other parent. Tell them that you love them and you hope that they have a fantastic holiday season. You can be the example of the true meaning of the holiday season – love and forgiveness.
4. Create a Plan for Next Year
You’re likely to upset that you won’t have your children for this year’s holiday season. Make a plan for next year’s holidays as soon as you can. Honor the judges wishes, of course, and work with your ex to negotiate having them for the next holiday season. Making a plan this year will help you cope with not having them.
5. Don’t Treat the Holidays as a Competition
It’s an all-too-common trap that divorced parents fall into – making the holidays a competition. Maybe your ex-buys them all the right toys, but you’ll buy your kids a puppy! Don’t fall for this common mistake. Not only does it teach the kids the wrong lesson, but it also tarnishes the holiday spirit.
Instead, buy your children sensible gifts and give them those gifts after they return from your ex’s place. Don’t give them their gifts early and send your children to your ex’s with them. This can create hostility between you and your former spouse.
6. Respect the Visitation Schedule
You’ve created a visitation schedule with the other parent, now it’s time to respect it. Avoid the urge to suddenly show up at your ex’s house on Christmas morning in the name of family togetherness. Instead, respect the holiday visitation schedule. You’ll have a much happier ex, which means that they’ll be more willing to work with you on next year’s holiday visitation schedule.
7. It’s All About the Kids
Lastly, remember that it’s all about the kids. The holidays are not a competition between parents, and they aren’t about who ‘won’. Instead, keep the focus on the children. Even though you may feel slighted by not having the children on Christmas morning, you need to keep in mind that the children are what matter most. Knowing that their parents are working together will go a long way in helping them have a happy holiday.
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