Could a Shared Holiday Be Possible After Divorce?
Are you a divorced parent who is tired of fighting with your ex about how your kids are being raised? Are you ready to take steps toward a more cooperative attitude? While it may not be possible in every situation, the winter holiday season could provide an opportunity for you and your child’s other parent to reconcile a bit and become better co-parents for your child.
Make the First Move
If you and your ex have been separated or divorced for an extended period of time, a joint holiday may be possible. For those who have just gone through a divorce, the wounds may still be too fresh and the healing has only just begun. Over the years, however, you may have found a sense of peace in your new life, especially if you have remarried or found another partner who makes you happy. In this peace, you may find the courage to sincerely apologize to your ex for your role in the breakdown of your relationship and offer your forgiveness for his or her actions.
It may be as simple as inviting your former spouse in for a cup of coffee when he or she comes to drop off your children. Or, you could extend to him or her a more formal invitation to a holiday dinner or celebration along so that you can all enjoy the holidays together.
Forge a New Relationship
Make no mistake about it; this is not to suggest that you should attempt to rekindle a romantic relationship with your ex. That time has come and gone. Instead, your family situation can only benefit if you and the other parent can get along as friends and partners in the parenting process, regardless of your history. It is also important to discuss what is happening with your children, as doing so can help them avoid feeding unrealistic fantasies of the two of your getting back together.
Building a friendship will also take time. If you are like many divorced individuals, you have probably given one another relatively few reasons to fully trust each other over the years. While the first steps may be small—kind words or a heartfelt Christmas card—the trust can quickly be rebuilt, affording your child a renewed sense of security in both homes.
Be an Example
If you are apprehensive about reaching out to your ex this holiday season, perhaps now is not the time. It needs to be real; your children will be watching and children can often see through false pretenses. A genuine attempt at friendly reconciliation, however, can show your children the power of kindness and forgiveness. It can also demonstrate your commitment to doing what is best for them. Studies have long shown that children of divorce can thrive when both parents remain engaged in their lives, and a renewed relationship between the parents can certainly foster such engagement.
We Can Help
At our law firm, we understand the struggles that divorced parents face, and we are ready to provide legal assistance. If you have questions about any aspect of a parenting plan, including your rights or responsibilities, contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney. Call 630-232-9700 to speak with a member of our team today.