Below are three tips for how to deal with issues concerning your children post-divorce during the holidays.

Tip #1

Try to have whatever parenting time schedule you are going to follow worked out before the holidays. Do not wait until December 23rd to work out your holiday and vacation schedule. (And if you need assistance from your lawyers, do not wait until the last minute to contact them.)

Tip #2

Keep in mind that this is a time of transition for your children. If it is their first holiday without both parents, it is going to be difficult for them. The best thing you can do is try to facilitate them having a happy time with both of you separately, however, that works out.

•If one side of the family normally hosts Christmas Eve and the other side normally hosts Christmas Day, that may be the best way to split the holiday.

•Some families will alternate: One year, one parent has Christmas Day, and the another parent has Christmas Eve, and then the next year, they flip it.

•Sometimes, one parent has both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in a year, and the next year, the another parent has both.

There is no hard-and-fast rule. It is whatever works for your family.

Tip #3

Although the holidays are a difficult and emotional time, try to put your own feelings aside for the sake of your children. Think about what being caught in the middle of the fighting over holiday time would do to them. It is a very emotional situation, and sometimes it is hard to detach yourself, but keep in mind that the needs of your children really should be paramount to expressing the anger that you may be feeling towards your spouse.

Sometimes it is a nice idea, too, to help your children in buying a gift to give to the other parent on the holidays. Show your children that it is okay for them to enjoy part of the holiday with the other parent, without you, and without any guilt attached to that.

During the holidays, although you are going through a difficult circumstance, try your best to put that aside and try to make it a joyful time for you to spend with your child, and for your child to spend with the other parent.