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Coping strategies for the holidays after an Ohio divorce

Everything changes after you've been through a marital split. Your home situation will most likely be very different than it was last year. Most certainly, your budget reflects the lack of two incomes. You may also be a Columbus parent struggling with how the post-divorce holiday season will affect you and your children.

While many Ohio parents share custody, children often reside primarily with one parent. Former spouses with shared children must maintain a working relationship. That's not always easy, especially after a contentious breakup. Joint parental decisions must be made, and visitations, like special arrangements for the holidays, must be coordinated.

Children are as concerned about the changes in their lives caused by divorce as you are. They may have enjoyed family holiday traditions that are no longer feasible. The first holiday season after a divorce can cause stress for children due to unfamiliar situations - unless parents make an effort to build new traditions.

There's no reason to erase the memories of past family holidays to move forward with new activities, however. Parents and children must acknowledge the holidays will be different but not necessarily lacking. Even though a family structure has changed, it doesn't have to detract from the joy of new holiday experiences.

Children will learn to anticipate new traditions the way they looked forward to old ones. When both parents enthusiastically introduce separate, new ways to enjoy the holidays, it's less likely that children will miss the past ways.

The first holiday season after a divorce can stir a lot of emotions. Keep in mind it may do the same for your children. Trying to banish all sad feelings just ineffectively dismisses them. Children appreciate when you listen, even if you don't have solutions for their worries.

You and your ex don't have to be friends to show support or love for your children. You do have to find a way to cooperate to make a parenting plan work after a divorce.

Source:, "Divorced Parents: How to Help Your Kids Get Through the Holidays" Rosalind Sedacca, Nov. 11, 2013

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