As the saying goes “you never stop being a parent” which, equally means “you never stop being a child”! This is never more apparent, for many adult children of divorce, than during the holiday season. A festive nightmare, where managing complicated relationships, expectations and logistics now comes down to the adult child and no longer the divorced parents.
Here’s our survival tips on how you, as an adult child of divorce, can navigate through this holiday season:
Family obligations are rife during the Christmas holidays, and if you’re an adult child of divorce your obligations have at a minimum doubled. If you also have to consider your partners side of the family, then your well-deserved holidays have just become jam packed with activities everyone else wants you to do. Realistically you probably can’t do everything, which means having to politely say no and look at having year-on-year-off family time.
Why not host your family this year? This could create a new way of doing things and potentially keep everyone happy. Planning and preparing to host might just be the distraction you need!
There may be no way around hurt feelings. Unfortunately the holidays don’t miraculously fix or repair emotions like sadness, anger and bitterness; rather they can intensify them. These feelings are valid and can be felt by everyone in the family, a good rule of thumb is to be honest with yourself and your family and acknowledge these feelings where possible.
Related Article: Meaningful ways to help a loved one through divorce
Effective communication is a powerful tool that too many of us find hard to use. Sometimes having difficult/effective conversation with loved ones is the best option. If you are able to first validating others’ feelings, however still holding firm to what we can or can no do, it can assist greatly in effective communication.
Remember virtually every single family – those with divorced parents and those with married parents – are dealing with some level of challenging family dynamics during the holidays!
Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org