The holidays are here. Well, at least they have arrived at Target, Walgreens and Hobby Lobby! And while that kind of merchandising makes me want to boycott holidays all together, the fact is if you share custody of your children now is the time to plan if you want a peaceful holiday season. Here’s some ways to think ahead to make this holiday calm and bright for everyone:
- Have a Plan: Do you have a working holiday visitation schedule? If not, get to work with your spouse to create one. If you do have one, consider last year. What worked? What didn’t? If you and your spouse can’t do this together, get help from a mediator to work out the sore spots and plan ahead to avoid the pitfalls of “Christmas past”.
- Share the plan with your children: Kids and uncertainty don’t mix. Your child may be anxious about where the holidays will be spent and afraid to upset you by asking. Create a holiday calendar and hang it in a common area so the child knows when he will being both sides of her family.
- Be Understanding: Your child may be sad about the holidays being different than holidays in the past. That’s OK. It may take time for them to adjust to the new traditions.
- Create TWO homes for the holidays. Sharing holiday custody is an opportunity to develop new family traditions plus kids have two celebrations to look forward to.
- Make sure your child has contact with the other parent while you are enjoying time with them over the holidays and make sure if you are the parent without visitation that your child knows you have plans and will be OK without them.
The holidays can be an emotionally charged time. By planning ahead you can avoid emotional pitfalls and negative experiences. Remember, the holidays are a SEASON, not a day. There is plenty of time and merriment to be shared by all. If you plan wisely, your child will be blessed with two sets of fantastic holiday memories!