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  • Candace E. Duecker, CFP®, CDFA®

Keeping Magic in the Holiday Season for Kids of Divorce


Single father with daughter making new traditions during holidays.

With careful planning and a focus on your children's well-being, the holiday season can be managed in a healthy way. Here are some tips:

  1. Prioritize Your Children's Needs: Remember that your children's emotional needs should be at the forefront. The holidays can be a sensitive time, so it's important to maintain as much stability and normalcy as possible.

  2. Plan Ahead: Discuss and agree upon a holiday schedule with your ex in advance. This helps to avoid last-minute conflicts and ensures that the children know what to expect.

  3. Be Flexible: While it’s important to have a plan, flexibility can be key during the holidays. Be willing to compromise and adjust plans if necessary, for the benefit of the children.

  4. Create New Traditions: Post-divorce, some family traditions might no longer be possible. Embrace this change by creating new traditions with your children, which can help in making new positive memories.

  5. Maintain Open Communication: Keep the lines of communication open with your ex when it comes to the children’s holiday activities and needs. Clear communication can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

  6. Manage Expectations: Be realistic about what the holidays will look like post-divorce. It might not be perfect, but it can still be enjoyable and meaningful for you and your children.

  7. Take Care of Yourself: Remember to take care of your own emotional and physical well-being. Managing your stress levels will better equip you to support your children during this time.

  8. Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or professionals. This can be a challenging time, and having a support system can make a significant difference.

  9. Include the Children in Decisions: Where appropriate, involve your children in holiday planning. This can help them feel valued and respected during this transition period.

  10. Focus on the Positive: Try to focus on the positive aspects of the holiday season. Emphasize love, gratitude, and the joy of spending time together, regardless of the changes in family dynamics.

Remember, every family is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. It’s important to find a balance that suits your specific situation and ensures that the holidays remain a time of joy and celebration for your children. What kinds of memories do you want your children to carry with them?


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