Navigating Holidays After a Divorce

February 1, 2023

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Going through a divorce is complicated enough, but navigating the holidays can be incredibly challenging when children are involved. It’s important to remember that children may feel a range of emotions during this time, and our responsibility as adults is to handle the situation with empathy and care.


Communicating with your ex-spouse is the first step in handling family and children during holidays after a divorce. Work together to create a plan that’s in the best interest of your children. This may include dividing time between households or alternating holidays each year.

Respecting boundaries

When spending time with extended family, respecting each other’s boundaries and needs is essential. If you’re uncomfortable attending a family gathering, declining the invitation is okay. If your children are attending the event, make sure they know what to expect and have a plan in place for how they will handle any problematic situations that may arise.

Create new traditions

Creating new traditions can also help make the holidays feel special for your children. Involve them in the planning process and come up with activities that you can all look forward to each year. This can be as simple as baking cookies together or walking to look at holiday lights.

Validation is necessary

Validating your children’s feelings and offering them support is also essential. Let them know it’s okay to feel sad or angry and offer them coping strategies such as talking to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist or engaging in a fun activity.

Self-care is crucial

Finally, take care of yourself during this time. The holidays can be stressful, and prioritizing self-care is important so you can show up as the best version of yourself for your children and family.

Handling family and children during holidays after a divorce requires open communication, respect for boundaries, and empathy toward your children’s emotions. Creating new traditions and offering support can also make the holidays feel special. Remember to prioritize self-care and seek professional support if needed.

With care and compassion, creating a happy and memorable holiday season for your children and family is possible.