We are continuing our discussion of how newly divorced or separated people cope with family holidays. In our last post, we talked about couples without children and their challenges at family gatherings.
It may be a bit of a cliché now that family holidays bring out the worst in everyone, whether your family lives within 10 minutes or 10 hours of Lake County. For adult children and their spouses, spending time with grandparents and surrounded by children looks great on paper. In reality, though, old arguments and resentments come out, and tension mounts. For family members who are newly separated or divorced, the dynamic is even more complicated.
Families throughout Illinois are likely making preparations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Whether holiday arrangements involve making grandma's famous turkey stuffing or abiding by other long-held family traditions, this time of year can become complicated for freshly divorced families.
There are few things more stressful for some people than the holidays. In cases of difficult custody negotiations or bitter divorces, a parent may be tempted to outdo his or her ex when it comes to gift giving. It is all too easy to lose sight of what's appropriate for a child when you're wandering down Chicago's Magnificent Mile and see the giant stuffed panda in a toy store window. That panda is bigger than anything your ex-spouse would buy, and, even if your child is just a toddler, into the shopping cart it goes.