Divorce is inevitably hard on children, and they may be particularly aware of their unhappiness on special days like holidays. As you approach your first holiday season since you and your ex separated, you may want to do everything in your power to make this a special and meaningful year for your kids.
What are some of the ways that you and your ex could make shared custody during the holidays a little easier for your children?
Center the needs of the children in your plans
Parents often get so fixated on fighting for what they think they deserve that they don’t stop to consider the impact of their behavior on their children. Once you have established the basic custody schedule for the holidays, it’s important that you and your ex also talk about how you will celebrate this year.
Are you doing a big Christmas breakfast, or does your family celebrate Hanukkah? More importantly, what do the children look forward to each year? There may be ways to have both parents involved so that the children have as much fun as possible. Regardless of what schedule the parents agreed upon, the planning for the holidays should focus on what will be best for the children.
Communicate with your ex about scheduling and presents
Are you going to drive across the state to spend Thanksgiving with your family, so you won’t be back for a Black Friday shopping trip? Do you intend to do the big meal later in the day, so you want to switch your scheduled parenting time with your ex?
It’s important for you to be open and honest about your plans for the holidays so that you can coordinate. The same is true for gifts. Especially if your children want expensive presents, it is crucial that parents verify who purchased what ahead of time so that there won’t be any duplicate video game systems or other presents under the tree this holiday season.
Parents can make the holidays after divorce less stressful for the children with a little bit of foresight and planning. Thinking about how you want to celebrate this year can make shared custody during the holidays more fun for your family.