On the Marc Media Client Alan Plevy Discusses Reducing Holiday Stress for Children of Divorced Parents
The holidays can be a very stressful time for children whose parents are divorced. OTMM client Alan Plevy of SmolenPlevy is featured on WTOP and NewsChannel 8 offering practical suggestions that divorced parents can use to make things easier on their kids, who are often caught in the middle of their difficult relationship.
Plevy recommends that parents agree on a plan for where their children will be and when well ahead of time, in order to alleviate confusion and stress. “Confirm the plan in writing,” says Plevy. “A text or email will do. Something as simple as ‘Yes, I agree we’ll meet at Starbucks at 4 p.m. on December 24’ will go a long way in minimizing family tension.”
He also cautions parents to avoid getting into competitive situations over gifts. “Children,” he believes, “value peace over presents and they don’t care about which parent gives them the most or the biggest gifts.” Additionally, when parents separate and eventually divorce, often there is disparity between their finances, so parents should try to be equitable with what they give the children. Plevy believes that children, no matter what their family situation, just want to be with their parents and their parents’ families during the holidays. Above all, they want to be happy.
Creating new holiday traditions can be fun for children and help make the time they spend away from one of their parents special. They will look forward to knowing that each year they’ll have a dinner on Christmas Eve with Dad or go ice skating on Christmas Day with Mom, for example.
Lastly, good behavior can also go a long way in keeping the holidays peaceful and happy for the children of divorced parents. Adults need to be mindful of not speaking poorly about the absent parent. This goes for extended family – grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles – in addition to the parents themselves. “Everyone will benefit from the old adage that you should ‘treat people the way you want to be treated,’ “says Plevy. Keeping this simple rule in mind will make the holidays less tense for children and parents alike.
Watch Plevy’s interview on NewsChannel 8 here:
Listen to the audio here: