Visitation Schedules and the Holidays – Part 1

Visitation Schedules and the Holidays – Part 1

The holiday season. It’s the most stressful time of the year for parents who are no longer with each other and sharing time with their children.

Here are some tips to try to make your children’s holidays better than last year, as well as some advice to build upon for future holiday seasons.

  1. Have a very specific plan for the holidays so there is no opportunity for confusion or conflict.

Parents may alternate or split holidays, but when there is disagreement about this plan, consider the longer view of alternating holidays by even and odd years.

  1. Try to continue traditions of the past for the children.

If your children are accustomed to spending Christmas Eve with one extended family, try to continue that tradition. Parents should consider maintaining some of the family traditions the first year after the separation, and alternating beginning the following year.

  1. Be as detailed as possible about the holiday schedule.

Some families are able to be together without conflict arising, but parents often have different expectations, as well as the amount of time they will be together. Agree with each other that the most important thing for the children is that they do not experience conflict between their parents.

  1. Create new traditions.

This is an opportunity to establish new traditions for the holidays, such as the creation of a special holiday celebration or experience on a day other than the actual holiday.

Equally important, it provides an opportunity for the adult who does not have the children to establish new practices such as time with friends, volunteering, movie days, and travel.

For children, the holidays are magical. It is often the little rituals and practices that are most memorable, such as baking a pie, playing a game or lighting the fire.

What do you want your children to remember about holidays when they have their own families? Part two in our holiday series will focus on the importance of making new memories in the midst of great change.

Remember: SIEGELLAW has been helping families overcome family law challenges for more than two decades. And we can help you. Call us at 410-792-2300 to schedule a free consultation or fill out the form on this page to request additional information.