Parents who go through divorce face a number of unique challenges, often being forced to adapt to new parenting arrangements that do not allow them to spend as much time with their children as they would like. Being alone can be particularly difficult during the holiday season when friends and family are busy with their own gatherings and traditions.

In some cases, divorced parents may be wrongfully denied visitation or parental rights, the frustration of which can be compounded in the holiday season. Maryland parents who wish to have their child custody agreements modified so that they can spend more time with their children during the holidays should speak with a qualified family law attorney to learn more about their legal options.

Divorced parents who are unable to secure changes to their child custody arrangements, however, must seek out other ways to enjoy the holidays. It can be difficult to fall into self-pity in such a situation, but it is important for parents to avoid making comments that might make their children feel guilty about being gone. Instead, they should take steps to make their own holidays as personally fulfilling as possible.

Even if the children are gone, a parent can still include their children in their holiday traditions. For instance, one could send daily holiday-related emails or text messages to their children or enjoy holiday activities alone and save souvenirs to later give to one’s children. Parents could even arrange to watch a movie at the same time as their children, then talk on the phone afterward to talk about their favorite parts. Lonely parents might also feel better after helping other children and bringing them happiness by taking part in a holiday food, coat or toy drive.

Source: Huffington Post, “Being Alone During the Holidays Can Be Tough For Divorced Parents,” Rosalind Sedacca, Nov. 13, 2012