Reducing holiday stress starts with good planning

The holidays are approaching, and it can be a difficult time for those going through a divorce or who have already divorced. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your holidays happy. For instance, you should already know where your children will be spending the holidays, what times they're expected at your ex's house and when you can expect to have them. You can review your child custody terms with your attorney if they aren't clear so that you and your ex can determine an agreement for the holidays.

If you want to make your kids a little happier and put them at ease, create a holiday schedule that they can read. Put it on a refrigerator or in another obvious place so they know exactly what's happening over the holidays. Kids get anxious too, so this can help reduce stress all around. Both you and your ex should be familiar with the schedule so that there are no surprises.

Both of you should aim to be as flexible as possible during the holidays. Sometimes, things don't go as planned, family events run over a few hours or a child gets sick. Do your best to adjust the schedule as needed and to accommodate not only your relatives making special trips to see the kids but your ex's family as well.

If you're finding that old traditions are making everyone sad, since you and your ex aren't with the kids together, consider creating new traditions to take the place of the older ones. Invite your children to find new, exciting activities to pursue during the holidays together.

These are a few ideas for the holidays. Work out the plan early, and it can help keep your holidays stress-free.

Source: Communities Digital News, "Ten Tips for Happy Divorced Holidays," Myra Fleischer, Nov. 14, 2016

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