Having divorced parents can be particularly hard for children during the holidays. So "you want your gift to your child to be one of cooperative parents," says Edward Teyber, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at California State University, San Bernardino, and author of Helping Children Cope With Divorce. To protect your child from conflict, he suggests these strategies:
- Talk to your ex about how much to spend on gifts and who'll buy what.
- Be accommodating with your schedules. For instance, your child can have a holiday breakfast with one parent and a special dinner with the other.
- Establish your own tradition if you don't have your child during the holidays.
- Let your child know she doesn't have to choose between you and your ex: "I know your mom misses you. It's okay to call and tell her you miss her too."
Copyright © 2001. Reprinted with permission from the December/January 2002 issue of Child magazine.