Holidays can be difficult when you are divorced, especially when there are children involved. Even on a normal day, it can be a struggle to decide how to share your children with their other parent, and it becomes even more complicated when adding holidays to the mix. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, you may be having a hard time deciding on the best arrangements to help your child feel supported. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day require a unique set of decisions when it comes to determining your custody schedule.
To navigate these occasions, we offer some tips on how you can support your child on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
- Make sure parents spend the day with the child on their respective holiday. Even if the holiday lands on your normal custody day, make a switch to ensure the child gets to spend quality time with the celebrated parent. Although it may be hard on you, it is important to remember that the child likely wants to spend the day with the parent whose holiday it is. You have the power to make that happen. However, each case is a little different. For example, long-distance living arrangements may make it impossible for your child to spend the day with their other parent. In this case, encourage the child to call, video chat or communicate in another way. If you live near your child, but you are unable to spend the day with them due to custody restrictions, scheduling issues, or a lack of cooperation from the other parent, plan a special celebration with your child on another day, but be sure to communicate via phone, text or video chat on the holiday.
- Help your child put together a small gift. You may not want to send a gift to your former spouse, but it is important to put your child’s emotions first. You can take your child shopping for a small token, or even help them make a small gift themselves. By participating in the process with them, children will feel confident in celebrating the other parent, and reduce any feelings of guilt that they may have.
- Support your child in celebrating their other parent. A child will likely feel guilty or conflicted about wanting to celebrate with their other parent. Divorce is a challenge for children to navigate, and it is important that you reassure them that spending time with their other parent is okay. Keep the atmosphere and attitude positive and encouraging so that your child knows that even when they want to celebrate with the other parent, you still love them. You can do this by encouraging them to talk about their plans for the day with you or initiating a conversation about what the holiday means.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day may feel different for both parents and children after a divorce. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! You can still encourage your child to celebrate their other parent and support them in whatever decision they make when it comes to celebrating. Though it may be difficult, it is important to put your children’s emotions and happiness first.
Custody arrangements can be the most challenging part of navigating a dissolution of marriage. If you need help creating a custody schedule that is right for your children, contact the Law Office of Joseph Cerino today.