Ohio readers know that the holidays can be stressful during the best of times. However, they are especially difficult for families who are dealing with separation or divorce. Not only can this time of year make the feelings of loss associated with divorce more acute, but those intense emotions can make it even harder for parents to decide when and where their children should celebrate the holidays.
According to family experts, parents should try to focus on what's best for their children at all times. They should do all they can to put aside any negative feelings toward their ex and make decisions that will help their kids feel safe, loved and supported. For instance, a parent should never deny his or her ex the opportunity to see the kids over the holidays just to get back at them. This sort of behavior is counterproductive and ends up hurting the children. It is also important for parents to talk to their ex about the holidays and develop a clear plan that they both can follow. This plan should then be communicated to the children.
Experts also say that parents shouldn't ask too many questions when kids return home from spending time with the other parent. Instead, they should let their kids share what they want to about their experiences and listen to what they say in a loving, non-judgmental manner. Parents should also remember to be patient and understand that the first few holidays following separation or divorce will be painful for everyone. However, this will ease in time.
Parents facing divorce may find it helpful to speak with a family law attorney as soon as possible. An attorney might offer personalized legal guidance based on the situation and help negotiate child custody and child support agreements that are in the best interests of the child.