If this is your first holiday season as a recently separated or divorced parent, you may understandably feel upset and disappointed. Holidays are simply not the same without the familiar sounds of children laughing and having fun. Parents may argue about which parent will spend which holiday with the children because they simply do not want to miss the experience. While there is no way to eliminate the pain of missing your children, there may be a way for you and your child’s other parent to work out a holiday parenting time schedule that works for both of you.
Put Holiday Parenting Time Arrangements in Your Parenting Plan
If you plan to get divorced in Illinois, you will be asked to create a parenting plan or parenting agreement. The agreement must include several provisions that detail how parental responsibilities and parenting time are divided between the parents. You will also want to include information about where the children will spend the major holidays. Some parents choose to split the holidays between them. For example, one parent may have the children on Thanksgiving and the other has the children on Christmas. Other parents decide to make a rotation schedule so that parents spend certain holidays with the children every other year. The most important thing is to decide on an arrangement as soon as possible so that you can avoid having the same argument about where the kids will spend holidays every year.
Change the Way You Think About Holidays
It is completely reasonable to be sad if you do not get to see your children on special days. However, it is important to remember that you can make any day special. Some divorced parents choose to create a new holiday tradition with their kids. For example, you may decide that even if you do not have your children on New Year’s Eve for the midnight countdown, that you will start a new tradition of going on a special trip at the beginning of every new year. Children are very perceptive, and they often pick up on their parent’s anxieties. Being flexible and having a positive attitude about the holiday season will not only lessen your stress, but it will also lessen your children’s stress as well.