The holidays are meant to be a joyous time with the whole family coming together to connect. Many children look forward to yearly holiday traditions with their parents. So how do they react when their parents divorce and the holiday season begins to look drastically different? Does it matter whether you have been divorced for six months or six years? Here are some of the emotional and psychological effects of the holiday season on children after their parents get divorced – many of which our child custody lawyers have heard about from our clients.
How Custody Affects Your Holidays
Your child custody order may dictate which parent gets holiday time with the kids, or you may have created a cooperative parenting plan with your ex where your children get to spend time with both parents. Whatever your custody situation is during the holidays, it’s important to stay positive so your kids don’t feel additional pressure. Even if you are upset you won’t be able to see them for Christmas Eve, for example, refrain from making comments about this in front of your children. Instead, focus on the positive time you do get to spend together. If your custody arrangement does become too much of a burden around the holidays, you can always speak to a child custody attorney to determine whether it can be modified.
Do Things Get Easier?
Our divorce lawyers for men have heard from past clients that it does get easier to celebrate the holidays as a divorced dad over time. Co-parenting becomes easier to navigate, and your kids may be able to voice their holiday preferences as they get older. Studies have shown that the most difficult time after divorce for a kid is within the first two years. If you’ve been divorced for longer, know that things may start to improve shortly. And if you’re recently divorced, remember that the end of this challenging time is in sight; there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep in mind that this may be an extra difficult time and try to support your kids even more than usual.
Creating New Traditions
Kids crave stability, and the holidays are already hectic enough without splitting time between two parents. Try to keep things as consistent as possible by creating new family traditions with your kids after your divorce. Stick to these traditions year after year, and your children will eventually start to appreciate the hustle and bustle of the holidays again.
If you are on good terms with your ex, you can even create new traditions together. They may not be as involved as a five course meal with the extended family, but a small activity like a day of fun in the snow can be immensely beneficial to your children’s psyche. When your kids see you co-parenting amicably, they’ll feel a greater sense of that all-important stability.
Divorce for men is obviously difficult for the father, but keep in mind that it may be difficult on your children, too – especially during the upcoming holiday season.
Child Custody and Visitation Lawyers for Men
One of our strongest beliefs at The Micklin Law Group is that loving fathers should have time with their children. This is especially important around the holidays. If you have not been able to see your kids over the holidays in the past, or if you are worried your ex won’t allow you time to see them this holiday season, reach out to our child custody attorneys to consider your custody options.