Divorce and the Holidays: 8 Tips to Help You Cope from Madeline M. Muise LCSW

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'Tis the season to be jolly…..or is it?

The holidays can be a very stressful few weeks for many with "time crunch" and family visits on the top the list.

For families newly separated or divorced, there is an extra layer of emotion. 

Children share time with each parent, which can double the stress. While children usually attend the same family functions, the other parent will not.

This is not only stressful for the parent but children also mourn the loss.

What’s a parent to do?

Here are some tips that will help:

1. Plan ahead so that everyone knows what to expect.

2. Begin a new tradition. This will acknowledge that the family is changing but will be okay.

3. Get your children’s input. Listen to what they want to do. They need to be heard and the parent(s) need to listen.

4. Simplify your gift giving.

5. Give the gift of time. Plan to have each child pick an activity of their choice to do alone with you. 

6. Plan activities for yourself for the time your children are with the other parent. Have dinner with a friend or take in a holiday event. 

7. Remember your pain will pass. Life is about change and we all have the capacity to adapt. Give it time.

8. Be grateful for the blessings that you do have each and every day. Look forward to the new year and allow 2014 to bring a fresh, new start.

Wishing you a happy holiday season full of new traditions and bountiful memories!

Happy Holidays!


About Madeline Muise, LCSW, Director Mediation and Therapy Associates, LLC: 

Mediation and Therapy Associates specializes in helping you create a fulfilling life. We help you identify goals and develop skills to establish rewarding relationships with partners/spouses, your children, extended family and community.

Personally, I received my Bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Rose and a Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers’ the State University. In addition, I also have postgraduate training in the following areas:

  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Divorce Mediation, Winston Salem, North Carolina
  • Advanced Mediation Training, Montclair, New Jersey and Florida
  • Parent Coordination Training with Robin Deutch, PhD.
  • Collaborative Law Training

I am married, have adult children and grandchildren. My hobbies include travel, sailing and the arts. 

For more information, please go to my website at: at: http://www.mediationandtherapyassociates.com


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