Tomorrow is Halloween. Adults and children alike will turn their attention to sweet treats and spooky fun for an evening before November dawns. November heralds the beginning of the holiday season. First, the nation will observe Thanksgiving, then winter religious holidays and finally New Year’s. While this is often a joyous season, it can also be one filled with tension.
Many co-parents find it difficult to navigate the holidays, regardless of whether they have already outlined holiday issues in their child custody plan or plans. The simple fact is that the holidays can be stressful and plans can change from year to year. Some parents crave flexibility, while others prefer to plan ahead and stick to the plan word for word. If you have yet to communicate with your co-parent about this year’s holiday season, now is the time to do so.
It is generally a good idea to plan your schedule, transportation, packing needs and other details in advance. If everyone in your blended family knows what to expect, there will likely be fewer problems to solve and reasons to be tense about these details later on. Planning ahead also gives you time to process your arrangement and to make fun plans with your child for times in the season that he or she is in your care.
Remaining flexible when possible is also helpful. Life can throw unexpected curveballs at your plans. Responding to these unexpected occurrences with grace will help you model healthy behavior for your child as he or she seeks out the joyous aspects of the season.
Source: The Huffington Post, “How Blended Families Survive the Holidays (Without Calling the Cops),” Elaine Ambrose, Oct. 24, 2014