Oklahoma residents who are going through or have gone through a divorce should consider how to parent during the holidays. Holidays come with extra struggles for separated or divorced families who have to juggle custody of their children. Since this can produce dilemmas wrought with feelings for both parents and children, it may help to approach the holidays with a plan already in place.
First, it is important for divorced parents to remember to focus on what would best benefit their children. Putting feelings about their former partners aside is vital, which may be a difficult undertaking for many people. Having a support system in place, such as a therapist or friends and family, can go a long way toward mitigating divorce-related holiday stress. A support system can also help people make holiday-related parenting decisions as they do not have to experience the raw emotions the divorced couple has to deal with.
Second, divorced parents should remember to avoid the urge to punish each other by limiting visitation time during the holidays. The children should always be put first, and their well-being and happiness are more important than resentment and other negative feelings. Children are easily stressed by conflict, especially when that strife revolves around them.
Third, the children should be prepared for what the holidays will be like. The stress of not knowing what to expect will likely make the holidays much more difficult for them. This type of early communication and cooperation will go a long way toward making the holidays more predictable.
The holidays are stressful no matter what for divorced parents, but having a plan in place will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy them. An attorney with experience in divorce may be able to help a person come up with a plan. For example, a lawyer may be able to help an individual with custody decide which days the other parent will spend with the children.