With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be looking forward to building memories with your kids. If you share custody of your children with a co-parent, however, you may have to shuffle the young ones in your family between two households.
While your parenting plan may cover the technical points, you must be certain your kids are ready to spend the holidays with their other parent. Taking three simple steps may improve your odds of having a low-stress holiday season.
1. Discuss plans in advance
If they know what to expect, your children are likely to respond better to custody-related matters around the holidays. Consequently, you probably want to discuss plans far in advance. If you can, also consider giving your kids some input in the planning process.
2. Pack essential items
You do not want your children to arrive at their co-parent’s home without everything they need to enjoy the holiday season. In addition to packing clothes, medication and other essentials, you may want to send gaming systems, books and other entertainment items. You may also help your children shop for gifts to take with them.
3. Consider family mediation
If your children are reluctant to spend the holidays with their co-parents, you may need to bring in some outside help. A family counselor or mediator may help build consensus between you, your kids and their co-parent.
Ultimately, because the holidays can be either fantastic or downright miserable for your kids, putting some effort into making their visit with their co-parent a success is likely to benefit everyone in your family.