The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones. But for divorced or separated parents, the holidays can be a time of stress and anxiety. Child custody arrangements during the holidays can be difficult to navigate and even harder to agree upon. If you’re a parent going through a divorce or separation, here are some tips on how to make child custody and the holidays work for you and your family.
Holiday Parenting Plan
It can be difficult to come to an agreement with your ex-partner about who will have the children on which days during the holidays. However, it is important to try to come to a compromise that works for both of you. A holiday parenting plan can help make things run more smoothly. You may have different holiday traditions, or you may live in different states. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a holiday parenting plan in place so that everyone knows what to expect.
Being flexible and open to compromise with one another. If you’re not able to come to an agreement with your co-parent, try to be flexible and willing to rearrange schedules. Remember that your child’s happiness should be your top priority. Making a schedule in advance to sit down with your co-parent and make a schedule for the holidays will reduce last-minute stress and reorganization of busy schedules. This will help avoid any last-minute disagreements about who gets which days off from work or school.
Talking about travel plans in advance if either of you will be traveling for the holidays. Reviewing these plans ahead of time so that everyone can make arrangements accordingly will help steer away from unproductive arguing. Try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to travel plans so that everyone can have a chance to spend time with the child.
Be sure to communicate regularly throughout the year. If you communicate regularly with your co-parent about how things are going and what you’re each up to. This will help ensure that there are no surprises during the holidays and that everyone is on the same page about what’s going on in each other’s lives
Making The Holidays Easy For The Kids
If your children are resistant to spending time with their other parent during the holidays, don’t force them. It’s important to respect their wishes and let them spend the holidays however they feel most comfortable. New situations, relationships, and holiday traditions can be very stressful and sensitive times for the child going through the divorce as well.
The holidays can be a tough time for kids, especially if they’re dealing with the stress of divorce or child custody. But there are ways to make the holidays easier for them. Keep things as normal as possible. If your kids usually spend Christmas Eve with their other parent, try to keep that tradition going. Don’t make them feel like they have to choose between you and their other parent. Make sure they feel loved. This is the most important thing of all. Let your kids know that you love them, no matter what happens during the holidays.
Unnecessary Co-Parent Disputes During the Holidays
A child seeing their parents argue especially during the holidays can have a negative impact on their experience in many ways. If you do not have a plan on how to co-parent during the holidays, here are some tips:
- Come Up with a Plan – It is important to come up with a plan before the holidays. This will help avoid any problematic situations that could occur when discussing your holiday plans with your co-parent. If you both agree on what time each of you will have your child, it can eliminate any issues that may arise. If this is not possible, be prepared for this conversation and make sure you are respectful in how you present it to your co-parent. This discussion should happen before the holidays or as soon as possible if an emergency arises. It takes two parties to work together so being patient and understanding toward one another is key. Being cooperative will help prevent disagreements from escalating into arguments which may cause even more stress for yourself and your partners involved in such matters.
- Set Ground Rules for Giving Gifts – If you are spending Thanksgiving with your child and their other parent, set ground rules ahead of time about gift giving so there can be no confusion later down the line when it comes time to exchange presents. Agreeing on who gives them gifts and when they are given also eliminates potential disagreements over disputes between co-parents during the holidays can be especially stressful for children.
We hope this article helps establish a guideline for how to navigate this time as easy as possible. If you are seeking a help with child custody and the holidays our team is here to help. Learn more about our Child Custody services here.