By Alisse C. Camazine
It is at this time of the year with the holidays approaching that the pain of divorce can be stronger than ever. Imagine having your children sitting around the Thanksgiving table and having someone at the table ask “what are you thankful for?” How are they to respond when the parents that they love are not there together? When they may feel like they are not thankful for anything. When they are sad and want to cry?
Help your children have a happy holiday. Think of your kids first. Bend. Be flexible. Try to accommodate seeing family on both sides if possible; and if not, try to make arrangements before the holidays for the children to be with the other side of their family. Do your best not to cry or show your anger and do not discuss problems with your spouse in front of your children.
Many parents ask me if it is okay to have the holidays together with the ex or soon to be ex. The answer to that question is how do you get along? If you can all sit at a table together and say you are thankful for your wonderful kids, for your ability to show them that in spite of your problems, you love them and that the divorce had nothing to do with them, then by all means, do it. But if being with your ex will cause you even more stress or will make you even more sad, then start building your post-divorce life. Start new traditions. Celebrate on Friday, rather than Thursday. Celebrate on Wednesday rather than Thursday. The day doesn’t matter. Having everyone together and enjoying is of primary concern for the children.
Don’t make your children choose. Don’t make them sad or upset about leaving you and going to the other parents house. This causes so much anxiety for children. They need to be free to love and enjoy both parents and the holidays, even in the midst of divorce.