Celebrating may be the last thing on your list this year, especially if you are in the middle of a divorce after a long marriage. You and your family had longstanding holiday traditions, and an abrupt end to those festivities can be as much of a shock to the family as the end of your marriage.
As divorce for those over 50 becomes a reality for more and more families, the holiday season can be a difficult time. Here are some important matters to keep in mind.
Remember: Co-parenting still matters
We have addressed this in previous blog posts, but older parents who divorce will still have to consider how they co-parent. You may not need a North Carolina parenting plan for adult children, but you must embrace a healthy, empathetic parenting style.
It does not matter if your children are independent adults with their own families – you are still their parents. So, during the holidays especially, you must:
- Be respectful
- Avoid badmouthing your spouse
- Concentrate on the joy of being with family
Regardless of whether the divorce is recent or not, your adult children might still struggle during the holidays. Their memories of past holidays may conflict with the present. It helps if you lead with care and empathy.
Don’t forget about the grandkids
In some cases, it might also be important to consider your strategies for co-grandparenting. Your grandchildren hold a special place in both of your hearts.
So, this holiday season, the most critical thing grandparents should be aware of – and avoid – is the risk of competition when buying gifts. Competition often only increases the risk of conflict among family members, and can even harm relationships in the long run.
Embrace the present
The holidays are often the time for reminiscing. However, you should not let yourself get lost in the past. Be in the present, and be open to creating new traditions.
After all, the holidays are also about family and goodwill. Focus on the present and the future, instead of the past.