Here are some helpful tips for navigating the holidays for divorced parents:
Create New Traditions
The holidays will feel different after divorce. Embrace the new chapter by creating new traditions. Some creative and rewarding ideas to consider are running a charity 5k, volunteering with your children at animal shelter or participating in a scavenger hunt. Divorced parents in St. Charles, Geneva and Kane County have some wonderful opportunities to create new traditions. In December, the city of Geneva hosts a festive, Christmas-themed race called “The Insane Candy Cane 5k Run”. The Insane Candy Cane 5k raises funds for kids with cancer. The Anderson Animal Shelter, with locations in South Elgin, North Aurora and Bloomingdale offers educational programs and volunteer opportunities for children, teens and adults. For Chicago divorced parents, or Kane county divorced parents looking to venture downtown, there are scavenger hunts available in Chicago.
Confirm Times In Writing
Confirm parenting times and drop-offs in writing with the other parent. Text and email are easy ways to do this. You may find divorced parenting apps like Our Family Wizard helpful.
No Gifting Competition
If during the holidays, divorced parents try to outdo each other with gifts to their children, it sends the message that the parents are not on the same team. Do not criticize the gifts your child receives from the other parent and other family members. Parents should avoid giving gifts that may create conflict.
Put Your Children First
Focus on providing your children with a happy, conflict-free environment. Following the terms in your parenting judgment avoids conflict. If the judgment no longer serves the best interests of your child, discuss legally modifying the terms with the other parent and your attorney. Modifications to the terms should be entered in court but you may be able to reach agreement outside of court or through mediation.