NEPA Family Magazine features Dr. Maker’s article on guidelines for navigating divorce during the holiday season. Divorce is a complicated process with many emotional tug-of-wars that can be painful for children. These tug-of-wars sometimes become exacerbated during the holiday season, as each parent consciously or unconsciously vies for the children during the holiday celebrations. Hence, children can get caught in the middle of the struggle, which can turn the holidays from being fun and exciting to moments of guilt, confusion, and anxiety for the children.
Dr. Maker’s article goes into significant detail on common patterns of parental conflict in navigating divorce during the holidays, examples of children’s emotional experiences, and guidelines to best avoid placing children in the impossible position of choosing between parents, especially during the holiday season. Creating a fair, simple, turn-taking schedule that allows the children to genuinely and freely celebrate the holidays with each parent is probably the most adaptive path and in the best interest of the children, as parents try to navigate this emotionally charged and complicated process during the holiday season.