by Greg Lenacher

Children treasure holiday traditions and they are grieving over divorce just as you are,  but they are not as well equipped to deal with the emotional turmoil that they are facing. Even if past holidays were marked by fighting and strife the children will remember only the good times. As the parent you should make this time of year as stress-free as possible for the children. In the paragraphs that follow I will outline some ways to make your first holiday season as a single parent as pain-free as possible.

Avoid bad-mouthing your ex at all costs. Even if the children want to discuss bad feelings they have for your ex, just listen, don’t join in with any negative comments of your own. It can be easy to justify joining in with your children especially if you agree with what they are saying but this will often lead to the children defending your ex from your perceived attack. The children should not be forced to choose between the parents. They love both of you equally and deserve to have as good of a relationship as possible with each of you.

Try to maintain as many family traditions as possible to make the transition easier for the children. While some holiday traditions cannot be maintained for financial or other reasons, many traditions can be upheld. Be as accommodating to the children’s wishes as possible during the holidays. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, a little good will shown to your ex can go a long way in the eyes of your children.

Do not fall into the trap of trying to buy your children happiness. Your children will be all too eager to accept any gifts you send their way but what they really need is you. Your undivided attention will do more to smooth out their adjustment period than the latest video game or designer clothing.

In summary, even though your emotions are on overload, try to realize that your children are struggling to adjust just as much as you are. They need to know that both parents still love them and, if possible, will be continually involved in their lives going forward.

Greg-Lengacher_786827About the Author: Greg Lengacher is a life coach with over 6 years experience helping people who are experiencing the pain of divorce. Visit his website at http://www.theeffectsofdivorce.net to learn more about dealing with and eventually healing from the effects of divorce.

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