Making the Holidays Happy

by KevinH on November 24, 2015

The chill in the air is here to stay. The kids have a few remnants of hard candy leftover from Halloween, but all that’s left of the chocolate are the golden ghosts of foil wrapping. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the retail stores — Thanksgiving is upon us.

With one holiday past you, you look towards the visitation schedule for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe the kids are with you, maybe with your ex. Regardless of the circumstances, the holidays are painful after divorce because they remind us of the past.

The solution? Build new memories. Make new holiday traditions. As parents we strive to ease the pain by shielding our children and we can make this possible by celebrating family and the season in new ways that center around love and thankfulness and joy.

The article featured today not only provides good examples of ways to make the holiday new and magical for the the family dynamic post-divorce, but also shows ways to make the entire situation more positive. Give thanks. Spread cheer. Waste time with your kids and lavish love on them while they are in your presence.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Read Article “7 Ways to Create New Traditions For Your Family Post-Divorce”


Kids are resilient. We hear this so often it has become cliché. Kids do seem to heal faster, embrace easier than adults. Then there are those times when an event in their lives is bigger than their emotions can handle. For some children this event is divorce.

If handled incorrectly, if the outcome is the loss of a parent in some way, divorce can serve as a traumatic event in the life of a child. Local therapist Ashley Earnhart (Licensed Professional Counselor, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) says “[t]rauma can result from any situation or experience that causes emotional stress. Because divorce is full of emotional stress, it can definitely be considered a trauma. Many variables and dynamics play a part in how stressful and traumatic the situation is and the extent to which long-lasting emotional scars may form.” Not only can the event itself be traumatic, but divorce also serves a great loss to be grieved. “Divorce is also a grief process because there are many losses and adjustments that occur. Often times, there is not much about a child’s routine that doesn’t change when a divorce occurs. For the school age child it can mean that a different parent now takes you to school, having to move to a different neighborhood, having to attend an afterschool program instead of being picked up by a parent when school dismisses, having to share your time between two houses, and having to share your parents with new significant others. For adult children of divorce they can question the authenticity of their whole childhood, be pained by reminders of happier times, and can be triangled into the parental relationship in the ‘friend’ role while their title of ‘child’ is neglected,” says Earnhart.

A step towards healing and understand is therapy. Earnhart explains, “Simply put, therapy is professional support in resolving emotional stress. For everyone involved, divorce involves unimaginably hard conversations, decisions, and adjustments. All families experiencing divorce can benefit from professional therapy. Individual emotional responses and the presence of additional traumas, such as affairs and domestic violence, and conflicts such as blending families, will determine the duration of therapy. Children often lose their sense of security when parents divorce. They also blame themselves often. Parents must learn to co-parent in a manner that will provide a continued sense of security for the child. The child needs to know that the parent unit is a team no matter what, or else anxiety can develop. Single parents can benefit from learning how to cope with the challenges of a child who doesn’t understand why they lost a parent. Family therapy without the child present can be beneficial in helping parents resolve conflicts that interfere with their ability to co-parent after a divorce.”

Pay attention to how your children respond to the divorce process, especially if it is a complicated one. Look for signs of depression, like anger and aggression. Take note of their behavior in school. Don’t take for granted their youth and “resilience.” As a family, whatever that definition comes to be, work together for the happiness and success of all involved.


Further Reading – Huffington Post Article on Play Therapy


Trick or Treat: Halloween and Divorce

October 9, 2015

The costume decision. You know it changes at least three times. A princess? A jedi? A dragon? A ninja? A ninja-princess-dragon? Maybe it’s a themed costume where the parent and the child’s characters go together somehow. Whatever the costume, Halloween is fun. Who doesn’t want to post pictures on Instagram of their kids reveling in […]

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Post-divorce Guilt

September 25, 2015

Guilt. Rejection. Self-love. Self-hate. The importance of sifting through residual emotions after divorce can determine your future self. How do you move on, whether you are the one who filed or not? The key is to examine each emotion. In her article, “5 Ways to Deal with Feelings of Guilt and Rejection Post-divorce, ” Terry […]

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Pop Culture Divorce

September 18, 2015

In the history of theater you find comedies and tragedies. Everyone is either happy and married or sad and deceased. In our post-modern society, the answer to trauma is a mixture of the two — the dramedy. Now, apply that to divorce and you have an explanation for the pop culture trends in divorce. Next […]

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Your Financial Future

September 11, 2015

With the children, the house, the emotions involved in divorce, it’s often easy to forget to plan for the future. Much of the energy of divorce focuses on the present. In many cases, you probably feel like you are surviving one day to the next. Although this is understandable, it can have devastating consequences on […]

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Healthy Emotions

August 29, 2015

There’s a reason why divorce is often equated with death.  In fact, divorce and death are two of the most stressful parts of life that people experience. Divorce is a death of dreams and a future. During this time of stress and high emotion, people forget the importance of staying healthy. Health isn’t just physical; […]

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School is in Session: Sharpened Pencils, Backpacks, and Co-Parenting

August 21, 2015

The fall is full of stress and excitement, especially for divorced parents. Back-to-school scheduling and expenses can turn confusing and expensive. The balance for both sets of parents and their children can easily be upset between activities and priorities. Fortunately, there are simple ways to make life a little smoother so the focus can be […]

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Changes in Custody Laws and Judicial Discretion

August 14, 2015

I agree with Landers on the point about judges needing discretion. I think mandating a joint custody arrangement is definitely the wrong move. Arkansas has recently enacted legislation that makes joint custody “favored” in Arkansas but not mandatory. Judges should be allowed to make case by case decisions and go with the tried and true […]

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August 8, 2015

Great article from @HuffPostDivorce about divorcing women, loss, and the taboo and loneliness of divorce- — Kevin Hickey (@kevinthelawyer) August 8, 2015

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