Making Holidays Easier for Co-Parents and Children After Divorce

Holidays can be stressful for many people, with the shopping, entertaining, events and family obligations that accompany holidays. Things can become even more hectic for parents who are divorced, since they have to try to work out who gets time with the children on which holidays. Parents can take some steps to make holiday scheduling easier on themselves and their children.

Plan Ahead

Parents should begin discussing holiday plans well in advance of the actual holidays themselves. Discussions may take time and it is easier to try to make plans without all the added demands on people’s time that arise during holidays. Trying to hastily determine schedules under time pressure will only add stress. In addition, people need time to make arrangements if they are travelling over holidays. Parents may also want to try to coordinate holiday schedules with extended family and would need advance notice of the children’s schedules in order to do so.

Focus on the Children

Parents may have issues that linger between them well after the divorce that make it difficult for them to get along. They may find it difficult to communicate with their ex-spouses and resent the fact that they do not get to see their children on all of the holidays as they used to.

However, parents need to try to put their feelings aside and focus on what will make the children happiest for holiday celebrations. Older children may even voice opinions about where they would like to celebrate certain holidays and parents should take children’s thoughts into account when planning.

Be Nice

It may sound like overly simplistic advice, but parents should make an effort to be nice to one another. Holidays are supposed to be celebrations, but when parents are fighting, children will pick up on the tension and have less fun. If parents can get along well enough, they may want to consider celebrating holidays together so their children can spend time with both parents on special days.

Being considerate during holiday scheduling can also work to a parent’s favor. If one parent really wants the children for a particular holiday, asking nicely and offering extra time with the children in return will most likely be more effective than making demands.

Successful co-parenting after a divorce takes effort. Holiday schedules are just one of many issues co-parents face. If you have questions child custody and visitation matters, contact an experienced family law attorney with broad experience in these cases.


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