The holiday season has begun, and for newly divorced parents, this might be the first true test of collaborative co-parenting. While the formal child custody agreement will likely address which parent has the right to which holidays, most Florida parents are able to work out a solution that meets their current needs. Doing so requires a high level of maturity and a focus on doing what's best for the children.
One way to avoid undue stress is to work out a holiday schedule as early in the season as possible. Chart out holiday traditions and decide which parent will handle which events. Whenever possible, try to maintain at least a few family traditions to give kids a sense of stability. If that's not possible, parents can at least create a schedule that covers all the holiday bases.
Scheduling flexibility is also a must. Just because a divorce has taken place doesn't mean the holidays are any less hectic than they were in years prior. Unplanned family visits, holiday performances at school and last-minute shopping trips will still occur. Parents who are able to focus on making this a happy time for their kids rather than trying to adhere to a formal custody agreement will have better outcomes for everyone involved.
Navigating the first few holiday seasons after a divorce is not easy for Florida parents, but it is important for kids. Having fond memories of the holidays will shape how kids approach this time of year for many years to come. Parents who are able to work together are not only creating those positive memories, but also modeling excellent problem-solving skills for their kids.