As we approach the holidays, many newly divorced parents in DeKalb County are wondering what they will be doing this Thanksgiving. For many parents, the idea of spending a family holiday without their children is difficult, but it need not be impossible. Remembering that sharing child custody with an ex means that sometimes he or she has the children during major holidays, but it also means that there will be holidays during which you have the children, too.

It is extremely important that parents not make their children feel guilty about spending the holiday with their other parents. In most situations, the decision about with which parent they will be spending Thanksgiving was already decided for them, often in the custody agreement. Even if the children did choose, it is essential to remember that your children may not have the same unhappy feelings about your ex that you do.

Instead, try to find ways to still interact with your children even though they are not there. Whether this means sending them a text message or an email every day or journaling and sharing the journal later, it will be a positive way to support your children as they spend time with their other parent.

If the holiday season is particularly difficult, lean on your friends and family for support. Involve yourself in some kind of holiday activity or seek out professional help. Making your children’s and your ex’s holiday miserable will do little to make you feel better.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Being Alone During the Holidays Can Be Tough For Divorced Parents,” Rosalind Sedacca, Nov. 13, 2012