October 14, 2022
Mediation can be a key factor in improving the experience of children of divorced families during holidays. Celebrating a holiday in a divided family can feel very strange to children and may solidify the reality that the family structure has changed. Whether during or after a divorce, times like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas can be a stressful time if certain questions are not settled in advance. Juris Law & Mediation can help with the decision-making process in Olathe or the Kansas City metro area.
The following is a series of steps both parents can agree to that can help make the holiday planning easier:
- Discuss the feelings of guilt your children may feel over conflicting loyalties. Let them know that this is normal following a divorce and that you are not upset with them for these feelings. This feeling of divided loyalty may play out in several ways. The most important thing you can do is let your children know it is okay for them to have whatever feelings they have. You should also let them know that it’s okay if they don’t know what it is that they’re feeling about the situation, family separation can take a long time to process and coming to terms with it is not something to try to rush.
- Accept that your child might miss the other parent when with you. Let your child know that missing the other parent is okay and that they don’t need to feel as though they are hurting your feelings. Allow them time to contact the other parent to talk with them.
- Be aware of the need for holiday traditions. Acknowledge that losing traditions is tough and maybe suggest possibly creating your own new traditions. Some families are able to be creative and keep many of their traditions.
- Let your child talk about how they celebrate at their other family’s house. It’s certainly a tough issue to discuss, but don’t be offended or bothered. It’s your job as an adult to bear the uncomfortable feelings and their sharing is not intended to make you feel bad. Letting them talk about these things will allow a healthy relationship to continue to grow between you and your child.
These tips are important for both parents to make the divorce process smoother for your children. Mediation can help with handling topics like holiday plans as well as numerous other issues. Strong and healthy communication is essential to supporting the mental and emotional development of your children.