Thanksgiving is over, and that means the holiday season is officially upon us. The lights have been strung and the sales have begun. Unfortunately, the start of the holiday season also brings potential strain in families with shared custody arrangements. Winter breaks and celebrations provide a chance for parents to spend more time with their children, and most people want their loved ones near at this time of year. This can lead to disputes and cause tension in an otherwise joyous time. The following tips can alleviate some of the potential stress and pressure that comes with shared custodial arrangements during the holidays, and help parents to focus on the children who enjoy it most.
Get ahead of the curve:
Take a look at your current orders or agreements and make sure you know the schedule. Be clear on what should take place and when, specifically who has custody on which days and who must provide transportation. When the time comes, things will run more smoothly if you have planned ahead.
Stick to the schedule:
If you have already agreed to a schedule, or have an order from the court, disregarding it could cause problems for you down the line. If you don’t have a current order or agreement in place, it is a good idea to discuss some type of schedule with your child’s other parent in advance to avoid any disruption once the celebrations and breaks begin.
Do your best to keep the necessary communication between yourself and the other parent, as well as any other interested parties, open and effective. This may be tough, but a small effort to bridge the gap during a busy and eventful time can go a long way.
Keep your emotions in check:
The holidays can be difficult for many reasons, and emotions run high. Keep in mind that while you may have strong feelings about your current situation, you shouldn’t bad mouth the other parent or prevent your child from spending time with them. It is likely that you are not the only one hoping to have more custodial time or feeling troubled about your situation.
When all else fails, keep your child’s best interests in mind:
Ultimately, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration, and you should impart that on your child. If something does go wrong, keep their interests in mind and act accordingly.