- Have a clarifying discussion with your co-parent about what to expect in terms of help with holiday rituals like decorating the house, shared gift-giving for the kids and possible shared activities like Christmas morning or one of the nights of Hanukkah.
- Decide with your kids (or for them, depending on their ages) on a few heart-felt and meaningful ways to celebrate. Having a do-able game plan can relieve stress. Now is a good time to create new rituals as well as honor the old.
- Be authentic and set realistic expectations for activities and gifts if your energy and finances are low. Resist any urge to blame your co-parent. Putting your kids in the middle is guaranteed to make them unhappy.
- Actively enlist your support system this year. Most people who care about you will want to help, so give them a way. Cookies made by a friend or family member will be just as delicious, and someone would love to help you set up your tree. Meet with your therapist, go to the gym, get that massage.
- Affirm your support for your kids to enjoy holiday activities with both sides of their extended family. When you are not with them, focus not on resentment, but on resting, renewing and recharging in the true spirit of the season.
KIDS CORNER | Modeling Behavior We Want Our Children to Emulate
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