For children coming from divorced families or soon to be divorced families it is important to give your child or children structure. Making a holiday schedule in advance will provide structure and set the expectation for the holiday season. In my experience, there tends to be turmoil and challenging situations when there is a lack of planning surrounding the holidays and how time with the children is to be allotted.
I recently came across this article with suggestions on how to spit up the holiday schedule and thought it might be useful for divorced parents, or people currently going through a divorce and think it could be helpful.
Holiday Season Approaching — What Divorcing Parents Need to Prepare for
We are coming up to Thanksgiving followed by the holiday season.
For families who are divorced or in the process of getting a divorce, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do having two different households involved. The best thing to do is plan now, rather than leaving it to the last minute. This way everybody involved will have a plan so the children will know exactly where they’re going, when they are going and who with.
The great thing about this time of year is that there are two different holidays approaching so the children get to spend time with each parent sharing different and/or similar traditions. Here are a few tips for planning your upcoming holidays:
• Grab a cup of coffee with your ex. Sit down and plan out what’s going to happen over Thanksgiving and this coming holiday season
• Talk to the extended family and see who is going to be in town or who is going to be having the family visit during the holidays so you can consider their plans as well
• Ensure that you both consider who had the children last Thanksgiving and holiday season so that this year you can rotate if at all possible
For the Christmas / holiday season, there are a few different ways of splitting it up and here a just a few suggestion:
• Option #1: One parent cares for the children from the last day of school until the 26th and the other parent gets the children from the 26th to when they go back to school. In this way one parent gets Christmas and the holidays around that and the other parent get New Year’s Eve. Then next year you can rotate so that every second year you either have Christmas time or after Christmas time, which would give you enough time to usually travel and enjoy the New Year’s Eve together
• Option #2: Share holidays around Christmas for example the 24th, 25th and 26th. Therefore, one parent cares for the kids Christmas eve and until noon on Christmas day and then exchange so the other parent can care for the children on the afternoon of Christmas day and Boxing day. With young children having them on the actual holiday celebration can be important to the parents and this way each parents has that opportunity.
• Option #3: Split the holiday season into three segments such as the first part of the holiday with one parent, split the Christmas days like in option #2 and then the other parent for the remainder of the holiday season.
Regardless of which option you choose, having it set out in advance will save a ton of stress and last minute planning.
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