Surviving the Holidays Even With Stress From Child Custody Issues

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Divorce may be hard on adults, but it is usually much harder on children. Although decisions aboutchild custody and visitation plans and arrangements are supposed to be based on children's best interests, most children regard their best interest as their parents staying together. Unfortunately, if they have been apart from both parents for long, the holiday season is more difficult for them because it serves as a reminder that they no longer have both parents in their lives all year long.

However, even with divorce children can enjoy the holidays. To make that possible, both parents should work together to devise holiday plans that maximize their children's enjoyment. This co-parenting challenge requires them to put aside personal issues and focus more on their children's enjoyment.

Because children often feel guilty about their parents' divorce, it is important that parents let them know that it is good if they enjoy their time with the other parent. One expert advises that each parent ask what the children received as Christmas presents at the other parent's house and be excited rather than threatened with the answers. After all, most children look to their parents for cues about how to feel.

Holiday plans should be planned rather than made on the fly so that each parent's specific desire can be addressed and incorporated. The holiday planning should consider the entire spectrum of family activities, including school recitals, parties, family traditions and requests the children might have. The schedule of drop-offs and pick-ups should be taken into account as well.

For Georgia families, the holiday season is a time to create new traditions and memories that are not associated with divorce. Planning and communication between both parents can let children enjoy the season without the stress and anxiety caused by divorce.