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Children of divorce need support during the holidays

Some divorced parents may not understand why their children become despondent and fussy during the holidays; especially since it's supposed to be the "most wonderful time of the year." After all, kids normally anticipate the gifts that they will receive, the decorations that adorn malls and parks make for festive scenes, and holiday concerts (and plays) keep children in good spirits.

For all that makes the holidays special, it can also be a source of great pain in kids. They may be treated like chattel, shuffled from place to place only for appearances, or they may be blamed for a parent's current situation. Even more troubling, absent parents may try to buy their children's affections by making a cameo appearance with a gift.

Despite the things than can go horribly wrong during the holidays, it can be a time to bond with kids and reinforce their relationships. Here are a few tips that parents can follow:

Don't make up for hard feelings with expensive gifts - Time...not an Xbox 360 or a Gucci handbag...heals all wounds. This means that parents must make up for their absences with time spent with children.

Stay healthy - Be fit both physically and emotionally. You can't spend quality time with your kids if you are a basketcase. If you need help, get some.

Forge new traditions - This is especially important if you previously spent Christmas with your kids and cannot do so now. Just remember that the holiday season is a collection of days; meaning that Christmas can be when you want it to be.

Through these tips, parents can ease some of the pain and uncertainty that kids experience during the holidays.

Source: DivorceMinistry4kids.com, Christmas and the Child of Divorce, November 21, 2012

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