The holidays are the happiest time of the year for many, but for others, the holidays are a reminder of what they’ve lost. Some newly divorced dads have to come to terms with the fact that they will not see their children during every holiday due to their custody arrangement. Others are upset about the idea of losing certain traditions. If you’re in a challenging season of life, it can be easy to let yourself fall into negativity during the holidays. But dads who can keep positive and follow these tips will ensure that their children have the best possible holiday season.
Make New Traditions
If your old holiday traditions are no longer feasible due to your custody agreement, take some time to think of new traditions. Your kids would probably love to be part of this process; now that they are likely a little bit older, they may actually have opinions about how they would like to spend these holidays. When you’ve decided on a new tradition, make sure to go all out during the first year! Your kids will quickly learn how much they have to look forward to in the coming years.
Keep It Civil with Your Co-Parent
Speaking of tradition, if you are in a good place with your co-parent, you can even consider setting aside one day where the kids get together with both parents and decorate cookies or create garlands. Staying cordial with your ex for just those few hours will make your kids feel more secure in their relationship with both parents. They will see that it is okay to have fun with you when your ex isn’t around because both parents want to see their children enjoying the holidays. It’s also a great idea to help your kids go gift shopping for their other parent. This is another sign to your children that you value their relationship with their mother and want to support them in doing nice things for her.
Plan Time with Other Friends and Family
If you are a newly divorced dad, it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t have your children for the entirety of their holiday break or for all major holidays. Instead of focusing on the fact that you’re missing important days with your kids, make plans to spend those days with family or friends. The more you fill your schedule, the faster time will go in between visits with your kids.
Challenging Custody Issues During the Holidays
Life post-divorce always takes some adjustments, and this is even more true if you have children. But this doesn’t mean that dads have to completely give up on their visions of a happy holiday season. If you find yourself unhappy with your unfair custody order this holiday season, take steps now to change that for next year. Contact our child custody attorneys to discuss a more fair custody agreement.