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Navigating the Holidays When Kids Compare

Divorce is a time of a lot of firsts. The holidays are no exception. When you’ve been through a divorce or separation, it is quite common for children to unconsciously compare the two homes. This can be hurtful, stressful and can even cause conflicts if not handled with care. You don’t want to fall into the trap of letting your ex’s activities, monetary gifts or new family ruin your holiday with your children.  Whether you are recently divorced or facing an impending divorce or separation, there are ways to reduce comparison and enjoy the holidays with your children.

If you are facing a divorce, our experienced and compassionate Miami divorce attorneys at Mitchell & West LLC can help. Call our offices today at (305) 783-3301.

Avoiding the Comparison Game

There are a few scenarios that can be easily navigated during the holidays to create balance, happiness and compromise when co-parenting. If you and your ex are each buying separate gifts from your child’s holiday gift list, it is helpful to share the gift planning so there are no surprises on the day the gifts are opened. 

Sometimes, a child will get similar toys, clothes or electronics at both houses, which can be great for both parties because they will not have to bring items back and forth.  On the opposite side of the gift spectrum, sometimes one parent makes substantially more money than another, causing concern for major comparison and resentment.  This can be avoided if the parents discuss their gift-giving plans beforehand.  If one parent chooses to buy the most expensive item on your child’s list, maybe the other parent can buy something their child was equally excited about but that costs less.  Or, if possible, maybe the higher-priced items can be shared in cost, allowing both parents to contribute to the “joy.”

Another cause for stress may be how each family will celebrate holiday traditions.  If you and your ex are both planning on driving to see Christmas lights, or you are both going to attend a specific holiday religious service, it may be helpful to go to separate areas of town or different churches.  This way, your child will be experiencing new things with both parents instead of visiting the same places or attending the same services. Nothing ruins a holiday drive quite like, “I already saw this, this is boring,” coming from the back seat.

It can be disheartening for newly single parents to hear about the seemingly amazing things their ex is doing for the holidays.  Inevitably, parents will find themselves silently comparing the two houses, holiday activities and gift ideas.  If you can plan for these stresses, you can avoid some of the conflict and have a more enjoyable holiday.

Miami Divorce Attorneys: We Understand

Dealing with divorce is no easy feat for children.  Suddenly having two homes and two holiday celebrations can be confusing and stressful.  The tendency to compare and the conflicts that arise during those first holidays are normal and not a crime.  Unfortunately, there are times when parents take things too far.  If your ex has taken your child for the holiday and is ignoring the divorce agreement for visitation, or if your child support is nowhere to be found, we can help.  We understand the need for compliance during an already-stressful time and we can work with you to make the holiday as smooth as possible for your family.  Don’t try to attack this alone, let our experienced divorce attorneys stand by your side to make sure your child support and visitation schedule is adhered to.

Contact our team of experienced Orlando divorce lawyers today.

Call (305) 783-3301.

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