– Nov. 2010




By: Carol Clemans


The aftermath of divorce has all types of ramifications.  One of the most painful is the first and yearly round of holidays and birthdays, especially when children are involved. There are several issues the divorced parents must face:

#1 – Your own attitude.  The challenge is to both parents. You must decide to cooperate together on figuring out what will happen on the holidays.  Instead of your own selfish desires, you need to consider the desires of the children. It should not be turned in to a ‘tug of war’ between parents. Yet, that is what many parents do.

#2 – Listen to your children.  Allow them to voice their feelings and opinions about the holidays.  Sometimes a court judge will make these decisions. If so, cooperate with a good spirit and attitude.

#3 – Affirm with your children how much Mom and Dad love them.

#4 – Remember, your actions do ‘speak’ louder than your words. If you show a hateful or unkind attitude toward your ex-spouse, your children take ownership of those feelings.

#5 – Don’t force your children to take sides.  If one parent makes threats or negative remarks about the other parent, the children will have conflicted feelings. Children feel the unhappiness of the whole family is their fault.

#6 – A holiday does not have to be celebrated on the exact day.  You can make a choice to celebrate another day and make it special for the children.  Get your extended family or a church family involved in the process.

#7- Allow the children to help you make NEW traditions for your holidays. Help the children find a way to give to others that might not have as much as you do. Buy a gift for a needy child – make it a family project.

#8 – Help the children to understand the REAL meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Life is not about ‘give me’ and ‘take-take’ for selfish reasons.  Thanksgiving should be about giving thanks to God. Christmas is about how much God loved us to come in ‘flesh’ to become a sacrifice for our sins and redeem us to Himself.

#9 – If your ex-spouse is causing trouble, make a copy of this article and send it to them.  Hopefully they will recognize that what they are doing in a negative manner will ‘boom-a-rang’ on them.  We do reap what we sow.  If they sow emotional pain in the family continually, they will eventually lose the children when each child becomes of age and has the choice to whether they want the ‘painful’ parent in their life or not.

#10 – Accountability to God is the most important factor.  Every person (believer or non-believer) will answer to God for EVERYTHING they do and say. We can never blame others for what we choose to do in any situation.  Our responsibility is to react in a godly manner. Allow the Fruit of the Spirit to manifest itself in all circumstances.

The divorced parents need to come together in a ‘healthy’ attitude and consider what are the best plans for their children collectively long before the holidays.  Prepare the children ahead of time as to the plans.  Make it a positive experience for the children, not selfish desires of the parents.

I fully understand that if both parents had been emotionally, spiritually and relationally healthy there would have not been a divorce. But that does not excuse the continued dysfunctional action of either parent.  It’s time for not just one parent, but BOTH parents to choose to put their children first.

Parents, divorced or non-divorced, are responsible to God for how they treat and provide for their children.  Children are a gift from God and they are to be valued as the special treasure they are to God.  Choose to make the holidays joyful for your children in spite of being a divorced family. YOU CAN DO IT BY THE HELP OF THE LORD!!


Carol Clemans is a Certified Pastoral Counselor/Christian Life Coach/Bible teacher for churches, retreats, conferences, etc. She received the Holy Ghost in 1955. Her heartbeat is helping others grow spiritually, emotionally and relationally through the Word of God. Carol provides counseling nationwide by phone and web cam for pastors and individuals. She’s been counseling for 18 years (the first 10 of those years for Bishop Kenneth Haney at CLC in Stockton, CA – taught six years at CLCollege) – teaching the Bible for 50 years. Carol has been married 40 years to Rev. Harold Clemans. Mother of two and MieMie of two grands.

Carol is president/founder of Life Enrichment Ministries, Inc. (501c3). She is believing God for funding for a counseling retreat facility in Colorado to help hurting ministry families and others in times of crisis. Pastors Dan Batchelor and Todd Gaddy are on the board of directors of LEM, INC. You may send donations to LIFE ENRICHMENT MINISTRIES, INC., 1437 N. Denver Ave., Ste. 251, Loveland, CO 80538.

The Clemans are part of Pastor Dieter Skowron’s church in Johnstown, CO.

Carol writes weekly for and monthly for the’ PERSPECTIVES’ from Indiana Bible College. She has posted numerous articles on her web site:  You may contact her: (636) 448-0121 or email: