The winter holiday season, for many families, begins with the celebration of Thanksgiving and continues through the month of December into the beginning of January. While the holidays are often filled with fun, food, and extended family, they can be particularly challenging for divorced parents as they try to keep their children involved in all of the festivities. If you share parenting responsibilities of your child with your former partner, there are some things that you can do to help make the winter holidays more enjoyable for everyone involved.
If your parenting plan does not already specify where your child will spend each holiday, you will need to make arrangements with the other parent as soon as possible. Do not wait until the very last minute. Give your child something to look forward to, and provide enough lead time for you and the other parent to plan for the holiday accordingly.
Be Kind, Courteous, and Flexible
You and your former partner may have your disagreements, and he or she may not always be very considerate of your time and efforts. In a moment of honesty, you may admit that the same is also true in reverse. During the holiday season, do your best to look past your problems. Ever-present hostility and constant derogatory comments about your child’s other parent will not help your child create positive memories of the holidays. Nobody is perfect, and a little patience and extra kindness can go a long way in difficult situations.
Be Open to New Beginnings
Depending upon your relationship with your child’s other parent, the holiday season could represent an opportunity for forging a new future. If circumstances lead to your former partner being alone on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day while you celebrate with your child, you may consider extending an invitation to him or her to join you. Putting your differences aside for a day can demonstrate your commitment to your child’s happiness. In addition, such a gesture could create common ground that leads to better communication and a stronger co-parenting relationship between the two of you in the future.
For some families, the winter holiday season is just another stressful period in an endless list of them, but that does not need to be the case for you and yours. You have the opportunity to help your child create lasting memories of love and family togetherness, regardless of the fact that you share parenting responsibilities. To learn more about creating a holiday parenting plan, contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call 630-377-7770 for a free consultation at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C. today.