When you share custody of the kids, invariably one of the issues that will come up around Thanksgiving is which parent will get to see the kids. They can’t be in two places at once, and it’s natural for both parents to want to celebrate with their family.
This situation isn’t just difficult for the parents. The kids also suffer. If they’re younger, they might feel saddened that they won’t be able to see one parent. If they’re older, they might feel guilty about having to make a choice between their parents. This kind of stress is antithetical to the spirit of the holidays.
Ways to Share Custody
- The simple option is to split the day. Perhaps one parent has the kids for the morning and lunch, and the other parent has them over for dinner. If you are able to work with your ex on scheduling, this could prevent your kids from having to make that awkward choice of which parent to be with.
- If you are fine with celebrating on a different day than the actual holiday, then that is also an excellent way of making sure the kids get to see both parents. The day before or the day after (for those who become hermits during the madness of Black Friday) are typical choices.
- If you and your ex are on speaking terms, why not celebrate together? After all, you both have the same thing to be thankful for ”“ your wonderful children. If you can handle it, then it also affects the psychological well-being of your children in a positive way. It shows them that you are able to set aside your differences for their happiness.
- If it is impossible for the kids to see both parents on the same day (for example, you and your ex live in different states or even countries), make an effort for the other spouse to be included in the celebration somehow. A nice gift basket and a long Skype call lets the kids know that they are in your or your spouse’s thoughts.
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