Family traditions are an important part of the holiday season, but those that are going through divorce often find that old traditions are no longer feasible. When children are involved, this can create a parent-sized gap in the home and may even lead to excessive sadness or depression. Lift your child’s holiday spirits this season and create some new traditions – ones that each parent can do individually to ring in the holiday cheer. The following offers some starter ideas.
Volunteer with Your Kids
If you have never done any volunteer work with your children during the holiday season, now might be a great time to start. Not only does it help to foster a giving spirit and remind us of what is most important during the holidays, it can take the focus off any sense of emptiness your child might be feeling while at home. Further, the act of giving back to your community is, in general, a pleasant one. So sing carols to a nursing home, feed the homeless, or just go shopping for some winter gear and gifts for underprivileged children. Just be sure to bring your children along and explain what this new tradition is all about.
Go See a Holiday-Themed Play, Ballet, or Movie
There is rarely a shortage of holiday films, plays, and ballets. Whether it is a new release, an old favorite, or something a little unique, it can be a pleasant experience for both parents and children. You can even make an evening out of it – get dressed up; go out to dinner; see the movie, play, or performance; then stop for dessert on the way home.
Put a New Face on Old Traditions
Not all traditions need to be new. Some just need a new face. For example, if your ex cannot be present during the gift-giving this year, and they are usually the one who hands items out, consider nominating your child as “Santa” this year. If you normally make a gingerbread house as a family, consider making Christmas cookies together instead. Alternatively, you may find that preserving a tradition – even in the absence of a parent – is the best way to go. You know your child best, so navigate accordingly.
Protecting Your Child’s Interests This Holiday Season
Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, make sure that you let your child know that both parents love them. Stay as cheerful as you can (even if it is only in front of them), and always protect their interests. This means putting their needs first. This might mean encouraging time with their other parent or allowing them to make extra phone calls. It may even mean trying to make a family event together, despite your own current feelings. Just make sure that you are also taking care of you. Most importantly, seek support and legal assistance to preserve your sanity.
Contact Our Naperville Family Law Attorneys
If you are going through a divorce during the holidays, Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. can help. Our seasoned Naperville family law attorneys can protect the interests of you and your child. Able to use creative solutions to help develop a parenting plan that can hopefully satisfy all parties, we put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-665-7676 today.