The holidays are swiftly approaching and COVID-19 rates are at an all-time high. How do newly divorcing families cope with the holidays while protecting their families? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has advised American families to celebrate the holidays virtually, when possible, to lower infection rates and transmission of the disease. Protection is a driving force this year.
Custody issues always create challenges, especially during holidays. Add a pandemic into the mix, and visitation and meaningful interaction with family members becomes more complicated. If you have spent every holiday with your children, being apart from them for the first time can be painful and difficult. Family counselors suggest planning ahead as a way to minimize stress in navigating these changes. Whether due to custody or COVID, we may miss spending time with our families.
Many families are using technology to virtually engage with family members when they can’t be there in person. Even if life isn’t quite what it was, advance planning can help reduce stress and disappointment. Families going through divorce and custody challenges can make use of this time to start new and meaningful traditions for their families.
Consider These Tips to Start Planning for the Holidays Early On
- Proactively consider various options for creating safe ways to spend time with family members.
- Try to take a positive approach. Consider recapturing some of the joy you may have experienced as a child, and plan some fun activities around those ideas.
- Create new traditions with your children such as watching sports or movies together over video chat, attending a virtual parade online, playing virtual board games online, going ice skating, or roller skating outdoors.
- Create realistic expectations to minimize surprises and disappointment.
- If possible, have a conversation with your ex to make plans for gift giving. Consider small meaningful gifts for each family member that come from the heart.
- Plan some outdoor activities where you and family members can get some exercise and sunshine while keeping safe distances and staying protected.