How you and your kids can enjoy happy holidays after divorce

By November 22, 2011Child Custody

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and then, of course, comes Christmas. They’re two of the best family holidays of the year; both filled with warm smells of good food and warm laughter of loved ones.

Of course, it’s well-known that the holidays also cause stress, especially for those St. Louis families that have experienced a divorce. But you don’t have to have a blue Christmas or a dreary Thanksgiving if you and your ex can agree that the happiness of your children is more important to you than any lingering disputes from the marriage or ongoing child custody or visitation issues.

A marriage and family therapist writing for the Huffington Post recently described an interesting experiment a colleague tried with a divorced couple struggling with each other and with their unhappy and hostile 7-year-old son.

When the couple came in for a session, the therapist handed the mom a doll and said, “You take the feet.” To the woman’s former husband the therapist said, “You take the arms.”

“Now pull in opposite directions,” the therapist told the couple.

They objected, saying the doll would be torn in half.

Of course it would tear the doll in half, agreed the therapist. “You two have got to stop fighting about who is going to get the kids on Christmas. It’s tearing your son apart.”

Did the moment wipe away all the couple’s disagreements and allow everyone to live happily ever after? No. Life isn’t nearly that easy, as we all know.

But it did get them to pause and agree that their love for their boy was more important to them than their disagreements with each other. They began to put real effort into therapy in order to learn to work together to ease the stress on their child.

That seems to be the core agreement former spouses must make with each other in order to survive the holidays as well as all the other days of the year.

Source: Huffington Post: “Divorced Parenting Dur