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Navigating the Holiday Season: Tips for Divorced or Separated Parents


Little girl hanging an ornament on a Christmas tree

As December rolls around, so does the holiday season. The holidays are a time when families put a pause on the hustle and bustle of daily life to spend time with one another. However, it is no secret that a divorce or separation may cause some strife during the holidays.

Going through a divorce or separation can make the holidays a challenging and overwhelming period. It can be a time of stress and exhaustion. It is imperative to coordinate schedules, vacations and blocks of time both parents want to spend with the children to avoid unwarranted stress and hindrance during a time ordinarily full of happiness and cheer.

When managing the holiday season as a divorced or separated parent, it is always wise to keep in mind the following:

It is essential to prioritize the needs and well-being of the children

During the holiday season, it’s crucial to remember the primary purpose of these celebrations: to bring children joy. Whether your family observes religious or secular traditions, the holidays are a magical time for young kids. Therefore, it’s essential to encourage your child(ren) to spend time with the other parent and celebrate together.

Avoid competing with your ex

The holidays can be expensive and quickly add up. Don’t engage in a spending war on children to win their love. Most children are happiest spending quality time with both parents.

Practice empathy

The well-being, feelings, and experiences of your child(ren) should be prioritized during the holidays, even if it means putting aside your emotions towards your ex-spouse.

Communicate (amicably)

During the busy holiday season, it’s essential to communicate with your ex to ensure a conflict-free season for your child. Avoid making assumptions about schedules and work together to plan for the holidays.

Don’t delay planning

Navigating the holiday season can be overwhelming, especially when there are family conflicts to navigate. From purchasing gifts to arranging parties and balancing work commitments, proper planning is essential. Demonstrate to your ex-partner that you prioritize and honour their time. By making thoughtful arrangements in advance, you can convey your understanding of their needs and show respect for their schedule amidst the holiday chaos.

The holiday season is a time for happiness, warmth, and affection. It's essential to ensure your children don't miss out during this time due to your emotions. You can make a significant difference in planning for this stressful time of the year with a little effort. If you need to discuss any modifications to your parenting agreement or other important matters, please get in touch with us today.

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