Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful. If you are a divorced parent, you may have the added pressure of trying to figure out how to share your children for the holidays, while making it fun and memorable for everyone. But know it can be done with a little planning and patience.
Put your kids’ needs first.
Your divorce decree likely spells out the arrangements you agreed upon for parenting time over the holidays, so you may need to dig it out and refresh your memory. Whether you will see your children on the actual holiday, the day before or after, or not at all, be enthusiastic with the kids about whatever holiday plans are in store for them—and you, even if you won’t be with them. They deserve to have fun and happy holidays free from worrying about schedules or if one of their parents will be alone.
Make the most of your time together.
When it is time to celebrate a holiday with the kids, make that precious time count, regardless of the date on the calendar. It is likely the kids won’t really know (or care) if your time together isn’t on the actual holiday. If your budget doesn’t allow for many gifts, lavish them with love, time, and attention. After all, that is what kids really need and want the most from their parents.
Start new family traditions.
You may be tempted to try to keep old family traditions alive for the sake of continuity with the kids, but now is a perfect time to start new traditions. Even though the holidays will be different than they used to be, you can embrace the change and start fresh. Maybe you serve meals to the homeless, have a family holiday movie and pizza night, or go caroling around your neighborhood. It really makes no difference what it is as long as you are spending quality time together.
Open up the lines of communication with the other parent about your holiday plans with the kids. Not only will this allow them to share their excitement for the kids’ holiday plans with you, but it will also help them to coordinate their own holiday, gifts, meal times, etc. It is a thoughtful gesture that shows your willingness to work together for the best interest of your kids.
Sorting out holiday schedules can be tricky, but when both parents work together toward the common goal of making fun new memories with the children, everyone wins.
If you are a parent going through a divorce, establishing well-defined parenting plans can make all the difference to your children. The legal experts at Lake Harriet Law Office are here to help you navigate your divorce and parenting time arrangements. Contact us to schedule a consultation.