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Keeping the Holidays Happy for Families of Divorce - Part Two

In our last blog post, we shared some tips for making this a happy holiday season for families of divorce. While the end of a marriage can be devastating for both spouses, children can feel especially upset and confused. During the holiday season, these feelings may intensify, as holiday traditions might change as a result of the divorce. Today, we will offer a few more tips for making this holiday season special for your family.

Having a plan for the holiday season is crucial. Keeping the plan simple is also a necessity. By working out a simple scheduling plan with your ex, your children will be able to enjoy their holidays without feeling like they are constantly being shuffled around. If at all possible, try not to split up days between both parents. Also, if you have more than one child, make sure your plan never calls for them to be apart. Further, make sure that your plan is fair to everyone involved. Your children's time should be split evenly between you and your ex.

Always be sure to follow through on promises you make to your children. Plan to pick them up and drop them off when you say you are going to, and try to keep their schedules as uninterrupted as possible.

When you are not with your children, still keep in contact with them. If distance prevents you from seeing the children over the holidays, arrange special times to speak with them on the phone. Refrain from telling them how much you wish they were with you, as this might result in feelings of guilt for them. Rather, tell them to enjoy themselves and say you look forward to seeing them soon. Also, if you have your children, be accommodating to phone calls from your ex.

Finally, avoid buying your way out of guilt. Although you might feel guilty about your divorce and the hardships your children may be facing, do not overcompensate by throwing lavish gifts at your children to "out-do" your spouse.

Source: WPTV "Keeping the 'joy' in the holiday season for families of divorce,"Connie Colla, 15 December 2010

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