Hi this is Len, the author of “Adventures in Single Parenting” and creator of the website, “singleparenting.us”. Welcome to this video! Today’s topic is holiday visitation and planning!
The holidays are stressful
I don’t have to tell you how stressful the holidays can be. They are especially stressful for single families and blended families as well. It is important to remember how stressful it can be for the children also. The myriad of activities, in laws, grandparents, and other family members who want a piece of the children can be overwhelming.
It is also a time of year when they may try to bring you back together with your ex. They still want you to be a family so questions like, “Mom, why can’t dad just come her for Christmas?” or Dad, Can’t we all just go to mom’s house?” are not uncommon. Be prepared for them and answer them as truthfully as possible without being angry.
Plan ahead of time.
Throughout all the holiday planning, it is important to pay close attention to what the kids want to do. After all, it is their holiday also and they want to spend time with their friends, or they may have their own activities they want to participate in. Crazaberamer . Don’t under estimate the importance of that for them.
The best way to approach the holidays is to have a plan in place well ahead of time. Begin to work on the visitation plan early so that you have a chance of getting everyone’s agreement on the basic plan. It is not too early to start. As I am writing this, Thanksgiving is only two weeks away.
Make your own plan if necessary and distribute it.
I know some of you have an ex who is uncooperative or maybe doesn’t want to participate at all. That is very sad and is their loss. Resist the temptation to ask the children to be the messengers and have them become unwilling pawns between the warring adults.
Don’t ask little Johnny to go ask his dad what he wants unless you are sure it is a really friendly exchange. The likely outcome is little Johnny returns with a message and you, out of desperation, shoot the messenger and scoop your child up into the conflict between you and your ex. We wouldn’t want that to happen so best to try and establish a plan yourself.
Make a proposal and e mail it or mail it to your ex and ask him or her to get back directly to you with his or her thoughts. Try communicating on Facebook or whatever it takes to establish a plan that is as fair as possible and avoids the last minute frustration of not knowing where the kids are going to be, when they are going to be there and how many turkey dinners they have to eat on the same day.
What about an existing co-parenting plan?
There may be a co-parenting plan in place that agrees for example, that the children rotate holidays every other year. That’s fine, but still flexibility and cooperation are needed to insure a safe, sane, stress reduced holiday for everyone involved.
Now my wish for you is that you and your children have a very safe, peaceful and happy holiday season.