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Best holiday advice for divorced parents

Posted on : November 29, 2013

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Worried that your life will take a nosedive during the holidays? Relax. You can survive the holiday season–and maybe even enjoy yourself and your kids–if you just follow a few simple tips:

#1: A great gift idea. Take pictures of your kids in a fun setting, like at the beach or at the park. Print out the best shot, frame it, and give it to your kids to give to their other parent. Come to think of it, keep an extra copy for yourself as well.

#2: Just pay it. If you are court-ordered to pay child support, now’s the time to pay it. Toys and trinkets are fine, but not if your children aren’t getting the basics that your support is supposed to provide. So pay up. Your kids will love you for it.

#3: Even when feeling naughty, be nice. Make an extra effort during the holidays not to say anything negative about your ex in front of the kids. He or she may be the loser of all time, but you don’t need to act like the Grinch. So bite your tongue. Your kids will thank you for it one day.

#4: Spend quality time at home. Just for the season, try being more in-tune and in-touch when you’re spending time with your children. That means no cell phone, no pre-occupations, no multi-tasking. Play a board game, read to them, bake some treats, take them to see Christmas lights. Re-discover the fun of your family.

#5: Say Thank You! Take time to really thank the teachers, the babysitters, and the day care people who watch your kids while you are at work. You could not do it without them, right? A Starbucks gift card is not expected, but it’s one way of expressing gratitude. A simple smile and warm hug can be another.

#6: Remember the reason for the season. Psychologists say that happiness is all gratitude for the things you do have, not what you don’t have. Don’t get caught up in gifts and other stuff you can’t afford. The best gift you can give is a place in your heart.

#7:Offer your time. If you are the non-custodial parent, offer to take the kids for a few hours so that the other parent can get his/her Christmas shopping done. You might be surprised how just making the offer can defrost even the most frozen lines of communication.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Thinking about divorce? Get more helpful info here.

Legally Barb is attorney Barbara E. McNamara, a Certified Family Law Specialist serving Orange County and nearby areas. For a consultation, reach her at 714-740-2542 or barb@LegallyBarb.com.

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