Once again, it is nearly the holiday season. Soon, divorced couples all over America must consult their calendars to figure out who has the children on which days and how to create an agreeable holiday experience for their family.
During and after divorce, keeping things civil for children is important. With a happy holiday in mind, consider these tips to keep your season on track:
- Planning is good: When you are divorced with children, being a good planner is a necessity. Just like fences, good plans create boundaries of expectation for you, your ex-spouse and, most important, your children. Let children know well in advance where they are going to spend Thanksgiving and other holidays this season. Consider letting older children assist in making plans. Reflect on wishes your children might express to spend more time with grandparents or family of the other parent.
- Flexibility is good: The best laid plans often go astray. Maintaining flexibility during the holidays is essential for handling the inevitable mix-ups and mistakes that could ruin an occasion.
- Gifts: The best things in life are still free, but try convincing your child of that. Do not engage in gift competition between families. If possible, share gift ideas with your ex-partner to rule out duplication.
- Take care of yourself: When your children are not with you during the holidays, take time to catch up with friends, consider a trip and plan quality time for yourself. Respect the time your children have with the other parent and enjoy your children in turn.
Childhood passes quickly, but bad — and good — memories can last forever. Be ready, and do your best with the parenting time plan you have when the holidays arrive this year.