The holidays are stressful for most families, but they can be particularly hard on divorced parents. Along with practical considerations related to visitation schedules, you will also experience quite a few emotional effects.
Taking the right steps can help you navigate the holidays with as little stress as possible. U.S. News & World Report offers the following holiday tips for divorced parents.
Establish a plan before the holidays start
Most parenting plans outline what will occur during the holiday season. If yours is lacking or the previous plan no longer fits, now is the perfect time to develop a new schedule. Establish times for drop-offs and pick-ups, and decide which parent gets what holidays. Try to be flexible and accommodating as much as possible, while also ensuring you have reasonable quality time with your kids.
Welcome kids warmly when back from your ex
Despite any curiosity you have regarding your ex’s new life, keep questions to a minimum when they return from a visit. When they talk about time spent away from home, be upbeat and polite. A positive demeanor is a must to keep your kids happy and encourage them to spend time with your former spouse.
Do not use visits to hurt your former spouse
Barring situations involving neglect or abuse, both parents should have a healthy relationship with their kids. Accordingly, you must not stand in the way of your ex’s efforts when it comes to custody and visitation. Do no block visits or try to make alternate plans at the last minute. Stick to your original schedule and make alterations as needed to accommodate everyone.
If you have difficulty being civil, consider your children’s feelings. By prioritizing their health and wellness, you can limit the emotional fallout.