All parents need to make adjustments the first year after finalizing a divorce. One of the hardest aspects to go through involves determining how to handle family holidays. There are few holidays as stressful as Thanksgiving.
If you thought things were stressful before, now you have to go through the Thanksgiving celebration with your family divided. This is an important moment in life after the divorce because you and your ex really get to show your kids your co-parenting skills. Here are some tips to make sure your first Thanksgiving in the wake of the separation lets everyone know things will be all right.
Acknowledge your children’s emotions
A lot of parents try to spin things positively following a divorce. It is easy to say things like, “Look on the bright side: Now you get two Thanksgivings.” However, these statements will not help your kids heal. You want to acknowledge their feelings by saying something like, “I realize you are upset you will not get to spend Thanksgiving with me this year.” You want to make sure your kids feel understood.
Show off gratitude
Thanksgiving centers around being grateful. You may not be happy your marriage ended, but there are still good things in your life to be thankful for. You have your children, your health, your job and a lot of other great things to make life joyful. For the holiday season, you do not want to wallow in grief. Instead, put on a happy face and show your kids that it is possible to cope positively.
Take care of yourself
You may not have the kids on Thanksgiving Day. You could have celebrated with them the week prior, but you still feel down because you miss out on the actual holiday. You should plan and make sure to do something just for yourself on this day. Reach out to friends and family if you need to avoid being alone.