Separated couples’ plans for Christmas
How separated parents can ensure that they enjoy Christmas with their children
Although Christmas is still two months away, many separated parents have already started worrying about how they will enjoy the special holiday with their children. It’s therefore important for such parents to have good parenting plans with regard to how they’ll spend the special season.
Challenges that separated parents face
Separation of parents often has devastating effects on families, especially those that already have children. The main bone of contention in such circumstances is about visitation rights and how and where special occasions such as Christmas can be celebrated.
Christmas, birthdays, Easter and school holidays present children of separated parents with tough choices on where and how they’ll spend their time. If their parents fail to agree on such arrangements, it may cause emotional and tense discussions, and often results in the disappointment of one parent.
Holidays are essentially important occasions because they present perfect opportunities during which family members can take time off their busy schedules to reunite and celebrate.
However, separated parents often lose their temper and turn discussions involving the emotional and weighty subject into mathematical exercises, whereby they strive to ensure that they get their rightful share of custodial and visitation rights as prescribed by courts of law during divorce/ separation proceedings and settlement regarding custody of their children and visitation rights.
Possible solutions to the challenges
Separated parents who wish to avoid or resolve such conflicts ought to have proper plans on how they can spend quality time with their children during important occasions such as Christmas, Easter and school holidays, either simultaneously or on different occasions. Such parenting plans should take care of the interests of each parent while simultaneously giving priority to the children’s interest.
Parents who were not granted custody of their children (mostly fathers) can consider making special arrangements on how they can hand over their gifts to children even if they (children) are spending time with the other separated parent on that particular day.
Separated parents can also consider an alternating arrangement, whereby if their children spend a particular holiday with the mother, then they should spend the next important holiday with their father.
Alternatively, separated parents should consider having secondary/special holidays, whereby if a father spends Christmas, Easter or birthday with his children, then their mother can also host a special/secondary Christmas, Easter or birthday on a different date so that neither parent feels left out or dejected.
It’s also important for separated parents to have schedules/ timetables on how they can take turns to host their children. In that case, if they spend Christmas with their father in a particular year, then the mother won’t feel bad because she’ll be eagerly waiting for her turn the following year.
Parents should have the interests of their separated partners at heart and recognize that the other party also needs to spend time with the children because they are equally his/hers.
Alternatively, separated parents can consider spending time with their children simultaneously, but on neutral grounds, instead of hosting them at either parents home. For instance, they can choose to go to a foreign town, city or country that’s away from where each of them stays, where they can stay at a hotel. The children will appreciate the fact that their parents have chosen to reunite, albeit temporarily, just to enable them enjoy special holidays together as family. In that case, none of the parents will feel jealous, resentful, lonely, angry, sad or dejected.