by: Lisa LaBelle, MSC, ACMHC
It’s been a busy holiday season since Halloween. Now the rush is over, and the long visitation plans completed until spring break. It’s time to get back to normal daily life routines, school schedules, homework, weekend visitations, extracurricular activities, etc. Post holiday adjustments may take a week or two for you and your children. No worries, it’ nice to get back to normal routines.
Here are some helpful tips as you readjust after the holidays.
After the holidays:
The end of the holiday season can be an adjustment period for both you and your children. For months or weeks your children have looked forward to the season of giving, of holiday cheer. Now it’s over for another year, and so are all the festivities. It can be a bit of a transition period as your children readjust to their daily and weekly routines. Let your children adjust by being extra patient with them, and talking with them about their own daily plans. They’ll need your support as they readjust to being back home with you.
Talking to your children:
As you’ve all come back together after the holidays, your children will most likely need time to adjust being back home with you. It’s a lot of transitioning for our children during the holidays. They are going back and forth between your home and festivities to your ex-spouse’s home and festivities. It can pull at your children’s heartstrings as they move between both of your homes. Take time to talk with your children one-on-one and altogether about their holidays, and being able to adjust being back home with you . Even if your children respond by saying they are okay, they don’t need to talk, they’ll know you’ve at least acknowledged their situation. They can see you’ve shown empathy, and you are there for them. Communicating openly is key with any family, including families of divorce, especially where children are concerned.
Regrouping after the holidays:
School starts soon after New Year’s, and that means getting your children back on their school routines. It’s a good idea to touch base with your children’s teachers after the holidays to let them know that your children may need a few days to readjust afterbeing away with your ex-spouse for their holiday visitation time. If their teachers are made aware, they will be able to help your children adjust in their classrooms by being empathetic, more understanding and helpful to your children. Again, communicating with your children’s teachers is very important, especially after longer periods of visitation. Our children need all of our support and understanding.
Post holiday routines at home:
Take time to sit down with your children when they come home after their holiday visitation. They will need you to be their support as they readjust. They love you and your ex-spouse, so it’s hard to say goodbye to either of you. Be extra kind, and understanding of their circumstances, especially after the holiday season. Talk about the holidays with them, be interested in how their holidays were. Focus on what they loved most about this holiday season and talk about it. Then transition to talk about their upcoming school week. Plan out your week with them to review their daily school schedules, extracurricular activities, what homework they may have, etc. Help them refocus to be prepared for school and their upcoming responsibilities. This will help your children to be able to settle into their daily routines again after a busy holiday season.
In conclusion, the holiday season is twice as busy for children of divorce, because they share their holidays with you and your ex-spouse. Be extra understanding and empathetic with your children when they return home at the end. They may need a few days or more to readjust to being back home, starting school, participating in their extracurricular activities, etc. Take time to talk with your children, so they know you understand how hard it can be to regroup. They need to know you care and understand. Touch base with your children’s teachers the first day back to school after the holidays. They need to be made aware that your children are readjusting to being back home with you. Your children’s teachers are an important part of their support system. Give yourself, and your children time to adjust as normal routines are resumed after a busy holiday season, everything will be okay.
Lisa LaBelle, MSC, ACMHC is the founder of Hope After Divorce and Hope After Healing. She is a published author, contributing expert, a family and child advocate and program developer, and a licensed Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She has a B.S. degree in Education and a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling, focusing on families, individuals, and children experiencing divorce, grief, or loss. Lisa is a family and child advocate, and the author of Hope After Divorce, Hope After Divorce Support Group Program, and Hope After Healing Support Group Program for Youth. She has been and continues to be a contributing expert for several publications, including, HopeAfterDivorce.blogspot.com, HopeAfterHealing.com, FamilyShare.com, LAFAmily.com, its sister publications, and DivorceForce.com. She writes and develops effective curriculum and program evaluation methods for individuals, families, and children who are experiencing challenging life transitions, including divorce, grief, and loss. Lisa works to make resources, helpful information, support, community response efforts, and programs available for individuals, families, and children to support their healing. You can contact Lisa at email@example.com. Visit Lisa’s website, www.HopeAfterHealing.com and her blog, HopeAfterDivorce.blogspot.com.