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Emotions and the holiday season for parents after a divorce

Gulfport parents who are divorced or separated probably already know how awkward the holidays can potentially be. Planning holiday celebrations around child custody arrangements can sometimes be a challenge. Yet very often, parents succeed in making the situation work and making happy memories for grownups and children alike.

There are some steps newly divorced parents can take to hopefully make the holidays a positive and meaningful experience. Parents need to prepare themselves for the new reality: Their children may be gone for part of the holidays. Not only can this be emotional for the parents, it can be emotional for the children too. It is important to acknowledge their emotions and prepare them for the new arrangement.

A certain amount of flexibility may be required in order to make the holidays positive and special. Although the divorce or separation may have been less than amicable, it can be crucial to address the other parent with respect. Although old traditions may have to fall by the wayside, there is an excellent opportunity to establish new traditions and parents should take advantage of this opportunity.

Parents may feel bad about the situation, but they should not let their spending get out of control in an effort to make it up to their children or outspend the other parent. Parents should also remember to practice self-care during the holidays, and a good time to do this may be when the child is with the other parent.

With these tips in mind, parents and children can have a happy holiday, even if they are newly divorced or separated. While they may have gone through some major life changes, it is possible through cooperation and the right mind-set to make the holidays special for all involved.

Source:, "Surviving the holidays as a divorced parent," Dec. 8, 2017

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