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Post- divorce, allow kids to take the lead during the holidays

For Mississippi families that have gone through a divorce, the holiday season can be even more stressful than the norm. Parents want to ensure that their children have warm memories of the season, and worry that the altered family structure will cast a pall over the first few holidays after a divorce. However, with the right approach, parents can ensure that their children move forward in a manner that is healthy and happy.

Perhaps the best tip for those facing this scenario is to allow children to set the pace of the first holiday season after a divorce. Take the time to listen to what they have to say, and avoid making major changes without considering their comfort level. In many cases, children are less concerned with the big picture aspects of the holidays, and more worried about details that parents often consider minor.

For example, if the family always made a big day of hunting for their Christmas tree and bringing it home, kids may feel as if that experience will be lost once a divorce has taken place. In some cases, parents who are able to work in a collaborative manner can create a new tradition in which they both head out with the kids to select two trees, one for each home. When this level of cooperation is not possible, each parent can structure a new tradition involving trimming a tree for each home.

By allowing children to lead the way, Mississippi parents can help restructure the holidays in a manner that is respectful of where the kids are with the process of adjusting to their parents' divorce. It make take several years to completely restructure the holidays to accommodate the needs of both households. However, allowing that process to unfold in an organic way is often far easier to weather than implementing broad changes with little or no input from the children involved.

Source: Huffington Post, Divorced Parents: How to Help Your Kids Get Through the Holidays, Rosalind Secacca, Nov. 11, 2013

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