The holidays can be a difficult time for fathers who have to share custody and split time with another parent. It is not easy to be away from your kids for any amount of time during a season when holiday traditions and family time are important. For these reasons and more, this time can of year can be stressful, emotions can run high and disputes with the other parent may be more likely.
If you think that the holiday season could be difficult, it may be beneficial to prepare for potential complications and look for ways to reduce disputes. For the benefit of the children, it may be necessary to look for the middle ground and remain willing to compromise with the other parent. It is always smart to know how to navigate potentially complex situations that may arise.
Helpful tips for parenting during the holidays
It is understandable to want to spend as much time as possible with your children during the holiday season. Even parents who peacefully share joint custody may find this time of year to be complex and even contentious. You or the other parent may want to change schedules a bit to accommodate family traditions or important gatherings, and this is not always easy. Consider the following when navigating these matters:
- Be honest – It is always smart to be upfront and honest. If you need to adjust a schedule or request a little extra time, be completely honest about why. It is okay to speak up about something if it is important to you.
- Be willing to accept the outcome – The other parent does not have to give up any or his or her court-mandated parenting time. You will be prudent to prepare yourself or the possibility that you may not get the answer you want.
- Listen to the other parent – It is helpful to listen carefully to the goals and desires of the other parent, just like you want her to listen to yours. Good listening can be the start of good compromises.
- Make a schedule – If you and the other parent agree to small changes in your visitation and custody schedules to accommodate holiday activities, write it down. Making a schedule will mean no one is caught off guard or upset because they forgot.
When you are willing to work with the other parent, Louisiana fathers may be able to avoid various custody or visitation complications that can arise over the holidays. This is a time of year when fathers want their kids to participate in traditions, trips and time with extended family, and it is possible to accomplish this goal with willingness to compromise.