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Holiday Tips for Divorced Parents
by Kim Hess

Divorce is difficult to live with, especially during the holiday season.  Remembering past memories and good times can take an emotional toll on an already tough time.  Add to that being a divorced parent, and the need for respect and patience is doubly important and needed to ensure happy holidays for all.

Make Plans

Schedule the children's celebrations with your ex before the holidays hit so there are no assumptions which may lead to disagreements. Avoid the kids having to visit both parents the same day.  Arrange for them to celebrate entire days with each parent to avoid stress and
exhaustion.

Stay in Touch

If you are not with your children for the holidays, be sure to communicate with them.  Call, send a text message, or email them so they know you are thinking of them on this special day.  If they are with you, encourage your kids to call and speak with their other parent and offer them some quiet time and privacy to do so.

Love vs. Money

Your children need your love, attention, and affection much more than they need fancy or expensive gifts.  Don't believe that you can buy your kids love. If you don't have a lot of money for gifts spend as much time with them as possible.

Gift Giving

Try to coordinate what gifts will be given with the other parent. This comes in handy so duplicate gifts won't be given. If your child wants to take gifts that you bought to their other parent's house allow it.  Also let your kids bring gifts that your ex bought into your home.  Be sure to be courteous and respectful by returning everything brought to your home back to their other parent's home.

Special Days

Allow Mother's Day with the mom and Father's Day with the dad.  Same should be true for all holidays which are specific or exclusive to one parent and not the other.

Not a Competition

Do not give your kids the message that the holidays are a competition. Let them know and celebrate the holidays for their true meaning, not competing with your ex for who can supply the most materialism.

Remember that the holidays are not all about you and your joy.  Be sure to encourage your children to enjoy, love, and have fun no matter who they spend the holidays with.

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