The Eagle's Eye

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Finals are over; winter break has started, and Christmas is in just a few days. Everything seems to be winding down, but for some kids, the stress has just begun.

For teens with divorced parents, the holidays bring a lot of stress and problem solving skills. For those who have a healthy relationship with both of their parents, it is very difficult to have to choose to spend a holiday with one over the other.

My parents have been divorced for close to ten years now; this situation is not new to me. Typically, the way I approach situations like this is I try my best to alternate holidays between my mom and dad: Thanksgiving with my mom then Christmas with my dad. However, I still come across new obstacles each year.

This year my original plan for approaching Christmas was to spend Christmas eve with my mom’s side of the family because my aunt was coming from Texas to celebrate with us. Christmas Day, then, was scheduled for dad’s side of the family. But my cousin on my mom’s side will be having his first birthday party…on Christmas Day. And thus I’m stuck in a position where I don’t know if I should spend Christmas Eve with my aunt from Texas, whom I rarely see, or Christmas Day with them all for my little cousin’s first birthday party.

I can’t spend both days with my mom’s side and none with my dad because that just wouldn’t be fair. On top of all this, I already spent Thanksgiving with my mom, so it’s definitely my dad’s turn.

Teens, obviously, live with one parent, so naturally, they are closer to one side of their family over the other, which sways the decision on whom they hang out with more. Family is my number one priority, and to have to be torn in two has been very difficult. I don’t spend much time with my dad’s side of the family because I live with my mom. Ideally I would like to have a close relationship with both sides of my family; however, that’s not the easiest thing.  Even though I am lucky to have parents who are understanding and let my brother and I decide who we’re going to spend each holiday with, it can still get tricky.

My advice to any students who are new to this conflict would be to speak to your parents and let them know how you feel. Tell them how they could help make this whole situation easier, but also let them know how much you want to be with both of them and that you’ll make an effort to split your time fairly.

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