If you are sharing custody of your children, holidays and birthdays can be especially tough. However, as the years go by, your family will become accustomed to its new structure, creating new rituals and finding new ways to enjoy your time together.
Some families choose to put their differences aside to spend the holidays together, and some even invite their new partners. To minimize the chances of miscommunication, resentment and hurt feelings, you should hire a child custody attorney in Kansas City to help create a parenting agreement.
Keep it Flexible
As far as your kids are concerned, the best gift you can give them is to keep the conflict to a minimum. You and the Gilby and Haynes Law Firm LLP should adjust your agreement to meet your children’s needs; for instance, if they express a desire to spend a particular holiday with the other parent, you should allow them to do so even if you’re “on the clock” officially.
Now that your child is a member of two households, arrangements require more planning than they did when everyone lived in the same house. Avoid disappointment by communicating often and early with your ex and your children; give your ex enough time to think about and respond to your ideas. Above all–remember that being pushy usually doesn’t get the results you want.
Be Kind and Forgiving
The holidays aren’t the time to harbor bitterness and resentment toward your ex. Don’t force your children to take sides–if you can’t bring yourself to say something nice, just smile politely and keep it to yourself. Be as accommodating and generous as you can with your children about their relationships with your ex and that side of the family, and let them know that it’s OK to be happy with them as well.
Hold Separate Celebrations
Having separate birthday and holiday celebrations (one at your house and one at the other parent’s) is a viable solution for many extended families. When making plans, be sure to work with your ex, and to make them in advance. Being accommodating reminds the kids that they are part of two happy homes–and it makes it easier to create new rituals and memories. By staying calm, remaining flexible and communicating clearly, you can all have a reason to celebrate.