For many people in Washington, the holidays present the opportunity to celebrate and spend more time with family and friends. For newly-divorced parents, however, this time of the year can be extremely hard. It typically means spending less time with their children than normal and, if the parents cannot agree on how to divide time, it can also be stressful and infuriating.
FindLaw outlines some tips on how to deal with the holidays, and one of the biggest ones is to put the needs of the kids first. Part of this is keeping conflict to a minimum, planning ahead and keeping the lines of communication open. The parents should discuss holiday plans well in advance so that everyone is on the same page, and if the kids are old enough they should be involved with the planning as well. Depending on the specific plans and the distance between both parents, children may be able to split time in between both households for each holiday or they may have to alternate years.
Web MD discusses that while it is important to place emphasis on what is best for the children, you also need to take care of yourself as the parent. This means exercising, keeping alcohol use to a minimum, eating nutritious food and getting adequate sleep. If you find yourself sad or depressed because of the change in traditions, reach out to others and look forward to making new memories. When you take care of yourself you will be a better parent to your kids when you do spend time with them.