Most importantly is that both parents send a consistent message to the children that the holidays are still a special and great time of year — even though both parents won't be sharing it together.
Your child is watching, listening and responding!
Our children learn culture, character and esteem from us. They take cues about what is acceptable from what we do, not necessarily from what we say. The way you handle yourself and your relationship with your former spouse will be the way your children learn to handle complex issues and relationships in their own lives.
So, even after the holiday, move forward productively by bagging the bitterness! Instead, focus on taking away helpful lessons from your marriage experience. Then, use this new knowledge to become better. Despite the reasons you divorced, your mental attitude is critical to not only surviving, but thriving as a family. If you have the right mindset, then you can feel confident that you and your children will be all right.
Take care of yourself
If you are not with your children this holiday, make sure you spend the day with supportive family and/or friends. Avoid "the downers", as I like to call them — friends who speak negatively to you about your ex-spouse in order to arouse your anger. Spend time with those who love you and want to help you move on by giving you new and better things to talk about.
E. R. Reid is the author of "STOP My Childhood From Drowning! 39 Lessons From A Child Experiencing Divorce"; and the president of Philip-Reid
Strategy Consultants, a strategy consulting company that specializes in helping people through life transitions. For more information, visit www.erreid.com or www.fruitol.com.