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5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Divorced Parents

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The holiday season is rolling in, and you know what that means – neighborhoods are lighting up like a Christmas tree, menorahs shining through windows, and, if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the cutest doggos rocking their holiday sweaters. But hey, let’s be real – if you’re surviving the holidays with divorced parents, this time of year can feel like you’re trying to juggle snowballs while skating on thin ice.

We’re talking about Thanksgiving with mom, Christmas with dad, and maybe even splitting the eight crazy nights of Hanukkah. Don’t worry–if you’re feeling stuck in the middle of your own personal North Pole and South Pole, you’re definitely not alone.

Here are 5 cool tips to help you glide through the holidays without feeling like you’re on thin ice.

Boy sitting on the sidelines

1. Blame Game? Sit This One Out

Ever felt like maybe, just maybe, you’re the reason your parents split? Stop right there. It’s super common to feel that way, but here’s the truth bomb: it’s not about you. Their split was about them, their issues, and only their issues – their love for you remains totally unchanged. Accept this truth.

2. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Even When There’s Tinsel Everywhere

Holiday blues? That’s a thing. Whether you’re at mom’s, dad’s, or stuck in a car between the two, it’s okay to feel a whole mix of emotions. Mad, sad, confused – it’s all part of the package. Talk it out with your folks, or if that’s too much, journal it or chat with someone you trust. Your feelings deserve a VIP pass, always. 

holiday sad teen
tug of war family and kids parents and teens

3. Drawing the Line: You Do You

Ever feel like you’re the rope in a parental tug-of-war? Time to set some boundaries. If they’re arguing or making you pick sides, it’s okay to say, “Nope, not doing this.” Be clear about your limits, use “I” statements, and remember, it’s okay to say no. Boundaries are a form of self-respect and essential for your mental health.

4. Self-Care Isn’t Just a Hashtag

Splitting holidays can be like a marathon of awkward dinners and weird vibes. Make sure you’re taking time for yourself. Dive into your hobbies, blast your favorite tunes, or binge-watch that show everyone’s talking about. And don’t forget your squad – friends can be lifesavers when family gets overwhelming.

Self care
teen girls singing

5. Flip the Script: Find Your Happy

Instead of stressing over the family drama, focus on what makes you happy. How about volunteering, gaming, baking, dancing, or yes, even belting out Mariah Carey’s hits. Focus on that, set boundaries for the not-so-great stuff, and remind your parents of your limits (politely, of course). It’s all about self-respect.

Ready to Make the Holidays Brighter?

So, here’s the deal: surviving the holidays with divorced parents can be tough, but they don’t have to be a downer. With a little planning, some honest chats, and a good dose of self-care, you’ve got this. Want more support or have your own tips to share? Reach out on our socials where you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through.

Want to chat about it right now? Text BRIGHTER to 741741.

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