If you are a divorced or unmarried parent, you know how complicated it can be to make a holiday schedule for your child. Even in the most amicable of co-parenting situations, holidays tend to cause added stress and anxiety, but with a little preparation and a commitment to cooperation, you and your child’s other parent can provide the best possible experience for your child.
Respect Each Other’s Traditions
Every family celebrates the holidays differently. Some may place added importance on certain days and fairly rigid customs, while others are much more casual. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate a family holiday, and it is important to help your child understand this as well. However, you and the other parent most likely want your child to participate in whatever plans you each have made. Of course, trying to accommodate both is not going to be easy, but your child deserves the opportunity to spend the holidays with both parents to whatever extent is possible. While your family may not necessarily want to plan around your parenting time schedule, you and the other parent are encouraged to work together to find a reasonable compromise.
Be Patient and Understanding
It can be incredibly frustrating when the other parent is late to pick up or drop your child. Habitual disregard for a parenting agreement is obviously a much larger problem, but, around the holidays, unintentional delays are often unavoidable. Unexpected visits from out-of-town family members, longer than intended holiday meals, and, of course, weather and traffic issues are going to happen. When they do, try to focus on the fact that your child is spending time with people who love him or her. You would want the other parent to be understanding if something unforeseen caused you to be delayed, so offer him or her the same courtesy.
It Is Not About You
The holiday season is an ideal time to remember that your parenting agreement should be focused on what is best for your child. This means that you will not always get exactly what you want nor will your child’s other parent. Keep in mind that, above everything else, your child deserves to be cared for and loved by both parents, regardless of any problems that may have arisen between you. On a more positive note, you may even be able to use the holidays as a way to build a more cooperative relationship with the other parent; one that can provide benefits for your family for years to come.
For more information regarding parenting agreements and visitation in Illinois, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney. At Keller Legal Services, P.C., we strive to meet the needs of families dealing with any type of child-related concern. Call 630-868-3093 to schedule your free consultation today.