Every year parents work to create a happy holiday season for their children. Buying and wrapping gifts, making crafts, creating fun family games, decorating the Christmas tree, making cookies for Santa, the list seems endless. For divorced parents, the holiday season may be extra stressful.

Divorce can be complicated, stressful, time-consuming, exhausting and mentally draining. As a parent, the divorce is further perplexing as you must focus your attention on your children and how the separation is impacting them.

Some parents feel as though they are now single-handedly responsible for making Christmas fun for their kids. Divorced parents may try to overcompensate during the holidays.

To focus on their children’s overall happiness, here are some thoughts parents should not have:

  1. I need to buy the children more gifts than my ex-spouse, so they love me more.
  2. I should be the parent that gets the children for Christmas; I do more for them.
  3. I am going to make the children feel guilty for leaving me alone on Christmas.
  4. I don’t care if the children get a gift for my ex or not.
  5. I’m not going to ask the children how they want to spend the holidays.

Hopefully, no parent has those notions or feels that they need to compete with their ex-spouse. The holidays may be considerably better for the children if they are the focus of the season.

If there are significantly problematic custody issues between you and your ex-spouse, it might be time to review your custody agreement. Parents are allowed to seek a custody modification from the court if there have been changes in one parent’s ability to provide care.

Newly-divorced parents mustn’t get caught up in competition during the holiday season and instead focus on spending time quality time with their children.