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The holidays can be special for your child even after divorce

Divorced or separated parents in Nevada and elsewhere may be awaiting the holidays in anticipation. This is usually a demanding time, particularly when children are involved. It becomes a challenge to divide the time or make a schedule to accommodate the ex-spouse and his or her extended family. After a divorce, parents should make an effort to make the significance of the holidays the focal point. All too often, parents focus on outdoing each other with gifts for the children.

One should keep in mind that this is also a traumatic time for the children. Parents often have misplaced guilt about not providing a home where both parents are present. They should avoid trying to make up for that by falling into the trap of a gift competition with the ex-spouse. It is best not to purchase a gift that wouldn’t carry the approval of the other parent.

Another thing to avoid is one parent buying a gift and insisting that it remain at his or her house. This is unfair to the child and will not score that parent any points. A good suggestion is to discuss the imminent holidays with the other parent, going through the wish lists of the children and agreeing on who will buy which gift. There will be times when really big gifts like bicycles or computers need to be bought. The best way to handle this would be to buy this kind of gift together, and make sure the child knows that it comes from both parents.

Instead of showing up the ex-spouse, rather create a joyful time filled with excitement. Never add to your child’s trauma by focusing on buying bigger and better gifts to gain the affection of the children. In years to come, children are more likely to remember happy holidays, rather than who gave which gift. After a divorce, children in Nevada and elsewhere deserve to experience pleasant holidays and to know that, although their parents are no longer together, they are loved by both.

Source:, How to Help your Kids Cope During the Holidays: Avoid trying to "Out-Santa" each other, No author, Nov. 15, 2013

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