As the leaves change and the air turns crisp, the holiday season draws near.
For co-parents, this time of year can be a bit more complex as they juggle child custody arrangements. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, there are some practical strategies to make the transition from Halloween through the holiday season as smooth as possible.
1. Plan for celebrations
Start by having an open and collaborative conversation with your co-parent about the upcoming holidays. Planning is the key to ensuring a harmonious experience for your child. Create a clear and detailed schedule that outlines where the child will be during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other celebrations. By being proactive, you can avoid last-minute disagreements.
2. Maintain consistency and traditions
Stability and predictability are important for children during the holiday season. While the custody schedule may change, try to maintain some consistency in your child’s life. If there are special holiday traditions your family has, consider keeping them alive in both households.
3. Focus on the child’s needs
Remember that the holidays are about making your child’s experience joyful and memorable. Instead of dwelling on personal issues, keep the child’s well-being in the forefront of your mind. Listen to their preferences and desires for the holiday season, and be flexible in accommodating their wishes when possible.
In 2022, 26.2% of children in the U.S. lived with one parent, often making it difficult to ensure a fair allotment of time during the holidays. By taking proactive steps, you can help make the festive season enjoyable for your child, despite the complexities that may arise in a custody situation.