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Holidays post-divorce

treat yourself to an art exhibit at an art gallery. take time to read a book or go to a movie. That’s the right attitude, says Deborah Moskovitch, divorce coach and author of The Smart Divorce. When it comes to splitting up family time over the holidays, Moskovitch says, parents need to keep the pressure off their teens. “Don’t say, ‘Who do you want to spend Christmas with?’” she says. “That is too much pressure and puts them in a really uncomfortable position.” With divorce so common in Canada, many parents will find themselves in similar positions over the holidays. But that doesn’t have to mean disaster. With a little thought, sensitivity and a positive attitude, Moskovitch says you can still have a holiday season you will all enjoy. Get their input Despite what your teen might say, holiday plans are likely very important to him. So start the plans early, Moskovitch advises, making sure that your teen’s wishes can be taken into account and there are no bad surprises. “They’re going to want to know what’s happening over the holidays and you should have it

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answered,” she says. “If you don’t have the answer, tell your teen that you will talk it over with your co-parent and get back to them. Keep in mind, the message should always be, ‘We love you. This has nothing to do to. We both want to be with you.’” Trading traditions While Bogle says her holiday traditions pre-divorce usually included mass at midnight, staying in pajamas all day and visiting both sides of the family, this holiday season she might be heading to Kingston, Ont., alone. “I will spend time with my parents, siblings and their kids,” says Bogle. “I’m going to try skiing this year. It’ll make me feel better and give me something new to talk about with my boys.” That’s a good idea, says Moskovitch. The holidays are a great time to experience new adventures and trying different traditions post-divorce — especially if these are things you couldn’t do when you were married. “Maybe now you can decorate your tree a certain way because your partner never liked

to before. Whatever it is, get your kids involved and ask them what they want to do to make the holiday special. You want them to think of the holidays positively.” Indulge yourself If you find yourself sans kids this Christmas, try not to feel sorry for yourself. Instead, Moskovitch advises to take the time to focus on you. “Do something positive,” she says. “Treat yourself to an art exhibit at an art gallery. Take time to read a book or go to a movie. If you do positive things for yourself — whether it’s a massage, shopping, sleeping in — it’s good. It’s not going to be easy at first but it will get easier. It’ll eventually be your new normal.” ■

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Profile for INBETWEEN Magazine

INBETWEEN Dec/Jan 2014-2015  

Our holiday issue is packed with fun stories crafted for every parent of a teen! Featuring stunning gift guides and getting glowing skin to...

INBETWEEN Dec/Jan 2014-2015  

Our holiday issue is packed with fun stories crafted for every parent of a teen! Featuring stunning gift guides and getting glowing skin to...