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Holidays are often a happy, but stressful time for most families. Add a divorce into that mix, and things can become infinitely more complicated. The experts at GreatDad.com, a leading source of experience, recommendations, inspiration and advice for dads, have some advice and suggestions to make the adjustment after a divorce as easy as possible for your family.
Communication and planning are critical elements to making the holidays stress-free and more enjoyable. Paul Banas, founder and CEO of GreatDad.com explains, “Dealing with holidays can be an emotional rollercoaster, especially the first few years after the separation. Working together with your ex-wife and planning well in advance will help eliminate some of the last-minute pressure and uncertainty that is sure to come up during the holidays.”
- Develop a Parenting Plan: Experts suggest developing a “parenting agreement” with your ex- after the divorce, which should include how and where the kids will spend holidays. With an agreement in place, you can avoid arguing about plans every time the holidays roll around.
- Remain Flexible and Patient: Even with a plan in place, changes will undoubtedly happen–flexibility and patience will go a long way to keeping everything running smoothly. “It’s definitely important to remain flexible during the holidays. Being extra-sensitive and ready for the inevitable schedule changes will help you and your kids have a great holiday together,” added Banas.
- Coordinate Gift Giving: It’s also important that you and your ex-spouse talk about what you are getting your kids as gifts. This way, you don’t end up giving the same things (iPhone, doll, Wii console, etc.), and you also set rules in place on what’s acceptable.
- Create New Traditions: With time and forethought, you and your children can create new traditions together and make the holidays joyous again. This is a wonderful opportunity to get the kids involved and show them how important their input is.
For more tips and advice for celebrating the holidays after a divorce, go to www.greatdad.com/holidays.