“Tradition. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as a fiddler on the roof!” ~ Tradition by Fiddler on the Roof
The holiday seasons are all about traditions, but when you are divorced those traditions change. Is it important to start new traditions with your children? I believe it is very important. After all, you will no longer have Christmas morning with Mom Dad and kids all gathered around the tree…unless you have a very healthy post-divorce life!
Starting new traditions can be tricky for children. It is important that children have stability and continuity, but let’s face it; you already got divorce, so it is up to you as the parent to find new stability and continuity within the new family unit. This includes making new traditions.
For instance, in our house, we now spend every New Years Eve at a basketball game, then come home and have movie night until midnight. Wish a happy New Year and go to bed. In the old family unit, we didn’t even stay up till midnight or say happy New Year. Our tradition is our continuity within our family. My children know and expect to go to the game every single year and are excited by it.
If your pre-divorce family celebrated with a big Thanksgiving dinner, turn it into a lunch while watching football all day. Open some of the Christmas presents on Christmas Eve and go caroling every single year. Make it fun for your kids, so they don’t miss the old traditions that they celebrated when you were the nuclear family.
It is also imperative that your children get to speak to the parent that does not have custody on those occasions. Make it a tradition to call the other parent at a certain time every year. Make it even more special for your child with a Skype video call, so they can see that parent on the holiday.
Keep the holidays about your children and keep building new traditions for them. Being divorced does not mean ‘tis the season needs to be less of a season…just a different kind of season. May you all have a wonderful Holiday Season with new traditions and new starts!
Acknowledge, Accept, Empower and Heal in the New Year.