The holiday season should be a time for joy, celebration and spending time with family and friends. This is the time of year for creating memories that last a lifetime and can be passed on to the next generation.
PUT CHILDREN FIRST
For a child, the holiday season represents a magical time of the year and they want all the important people in their lives to participate and get along. Smart parenting requires you to put the needs of your children first.
Marriage, family and child counselor Florence Bienenfeld, Ph.D., author of “My Mom and Dad Are Getting a Divorce, “offers the following advice: “It’s so important when parents divorce that they become parent partners. They don’t have to like each other, but for their children’s sake, they need to become partners in parenting. If they don’t, the children will struggle to adjust.”
PRO-ACTIVELY MANAGE HOLIDAY TIME
Organizing the Holiday schedule so that both parents and extended family have time with the children can be an enormous task. Think about how you want to handle each holiday. For example, some families do alternating holidays. This approach has the children spending certain holidays in odd number of years with one parent. The other parent will have the same day in even number years.
The shortcoming of this method will be that one parent has to deal with the displeasure of not having the children for that particular holiday. This person can lessen the disappointment by planning ahead and spending the day with other loved ones or friends.
Another technique divides the hours of the day equally. This way, each parent gets to spend time with the children. Segmenting such an important day into two parts is not only hectic but can be somewhat stressful for both parents and kids on a celebratory day that should be drama free.
“It is extremely hard for the kids to go back-and-forth between Mom and Dad’s two houses,” says child and family psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish. She suggests that parents not attempt to partition the day into two parts by expecting kids to go to both homes.
If you have any questions about child sharing agreements or other familial issues, contact our marital and family law attorneys.