Christmastime can be particularly difficult for children of divorce. There’s a lot to think about, and it’s likely that they’ll meet the odd bump in the road as they navigate their new family dynamic. 

Here we’re exploring just some of the things that your children might be thinking about this festive season, and what you can do to make things as enjoyable as possible. 

They might be worried about you 

As a parent, it’s hard to fathom the fact that your children might be worried about you and your wellbeing. After all, it’s supposed to be the other way around, isn’t it? 

Bear in mind that, depending on how old your children are, they’re probably wondering how you’re feeling about the upheaval to family life, and what you’ve got planned for Christmas. If you’ve decided to split Christmas Day, or alternate the arrangements each year, your children may well be concerned that one or other of their parents will be sad and lonely at what’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. 

This is just one of the many reasons why the arrangements for the children should be negotiated and agreed upon as soon as possible, and certainly well ahead of any special occasions that have to potential to cause upset and disappointment. That way you can allay any fears your children may have ahead of time, allowing them to enjoy the celebrations as opposed to worrying about them. 

You can read more about how to successfully co-parent at Christmas here

Will I get two sets of presents? 

Whilst we all know that Christmas is about more than just gift-giving, for children it’s likely to be a big part of the festivities. Whether or not your children still believe in Santa Claus, they should be forgiven for wondering whether two separate parents equates to two separate sets of gifts. 

Again, effective communication and forward planning are key here. Think about whether you and your ex will still buy joint presents at Christmas, or whether there’ll be some at your home, and some at theirs. If possible, it’s worth consulting one another about your children’s Christmas gift lists to avoid any repetition. 

Perhaps most importantly, it’s never worth trying to overspend in order to ‘outdo’ one another. It’s not a competition, and your children will benefit most from a united front. 

Will anything ever be the same again?

This is a tough, but very valid question. Children of divorce know only too well that Christmas looks very different when there are two households to consider. At the end of the day, it’s your job to make it as fun and stress-free as possible

Talk to your children about all of the wonderful new traditions they’ll be able to form with you and your ex partner. Discuss fun ideas and start as you mean to go on. At the same time, remind them of the comforting traditions that are unlikely to ever change. Someone getting grumpy over losing a board game for example, or finding coins in the Christmas pudding. And ultimately, reassure then that whatever Christmas looks like following a divorce, they’ll be loved just as much as ever before. 

As the countdown to Christmas begins, it’s always good to know that there’s help on hand if you need it. If you’d like advice in relation to the arrangements for the children, either ahead of or following your separation or divorce, we’re here for you. All you need to do is get in touch and arrange your no-obligation consultation with a member of the team.