Florida parents who are divorced or separated may be concerned about how to go about setting up a plan for the holidays. In order to alleviate stress, parents should open the lines of communication and cooperate with each other to make the holidays enjoyable for their children.
Putting their children above their own negative feelings is the first step, and it will likely be the most difficult one for many parents. Some people choose to involve family and friends in their holiday-related decisions. Others choose to ask a therapist for advice as he or she will not give emotionally charged advice. A support system can go a long way toward putting aside strong emotions, such as resentment, at least until the holidays are over.
Letting the children know what to expect from the holidays can also go a long way toward reducing stress. Children with divorced parents may be stressed by the unpredictability of the holidays and not knowing what to expect. Telling the children which days will be spent with each parent can help them build a mental image of what the holidays will look like.
Finally, divorced or separated parents should remember to avoid asking too many questions when their turn with their children comes. Instead of asking them questions about what transpired at the other parent's house, the children should be given the freedom to share their experiences on their own terms. Parents should avoid pointing out how they would have done things differently if the children had been with them instead.
In order to best handle stress and make the holidays enjoyable for their kids, divorced parents should put a plan in place ahead of time. An attorney with experience in family law issues may be able to help a parent with custody decide who will see the children on which days.