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The importance of creating new 'holidays' to share with your kids

For children of divorce and their parents, major holidays can be among the most difficult times of the year. Often, children spend major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving with just one parent, which can be bittersweet for them and sad for the parent who isn't there. Attempts to spend the holidays together as a family after divorce can be even worse if ex-spouses have difficulty being around each other, let alone their former in-laws.

While maintaining family traditions and rituals can help children as they adjust to their new family dynamic, parents can establish new traditions and even new "holidays" that they and their children can celebrate together without worrying about scheduling conflicts with the other parent. These new traditions can help kids create fond memories of a time that they might otherwise prefer not to look back on when they're older.

The internet is filled with special days you probably didn't know existed, like Dr. Suess Day in March and National S'mores Day in August. You also need look no further than your nearest wall calendar, particularly if your kids have calendars geared to their interests, to find out about special days and weeks that you and your kids can build a celebration around, like Harry Potter's "birthday" (July 31).

Ask your kids for ideas as well. You want something that's age appropriate for them and that meshes with their interests. For example, if your kids are into outer space, there's the anniversary of Pluto's discovery in February. You can make it a day to visit your nearest planetarium. There are unique celestial events happening throughout the year as well that you and your kids can turn into your own family event.

The options are limitless. The important thing is to find ways that you and your children can continue to share family celebrations. The more they're uniquely yours, the more memorable they'll be. Your co-parent may be inspired to create his or her own "holidays."

If these celebrations become part of your annual rituals, you may even want to include them in your parenting plan to ensure that you and your kids can be together on those days.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "Create New Traditions With These 5 Awesome 'Holidays'," accessed Feb. 08, 2018

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