A major source of stress for divorce families is how the parents will visit their children during the holidays. Families look forward to a particular date in which they gather and share time with one another. Parents form emotional attachments to particular dates and times when they expect time with our children. These particular dates and times become the subjects of dispute.
So what do you do if you do not get your child on a particular holiday? The great thing about holidays and children is that they truly do not care what day they get to eat turkey or open up presents, they just love the fact that they get to spend special days with you. With that in mind, let us say that you will not be able to spend time with your kids for Thanksgiving Day.
Enter Thanksgiving Friday, a totally fictitious holiday that comes right after the real Thanksgiving holiday. You can serve turkey, cranberries and eat pumpkin pie. You can easily find annoying relatives who can sit at the table and eat for free so it feels exactly like Thanksgiving. To your child, Thanksgiving Friday is Thanksgiving at your home. Your child will think that they are so lucky that they get to enjoy TWO holiday’s when most children get to enjoy only one. If you do it with flair Thanksgiving Friday’s may become a family tradition for years to come.
You can take the same exact approach when dealing with Easter, Christmas or birthdays. You are the only one in this situation who is vested in the notion that your child needs to spend time with you on a particular date and time. Get your child’s grandparent’s on board with the notion, have fun with it. When you have no other choice, learn to enjoy holidays in this way. It’s better to make lemonade when all you have are lemons to deal with.
Matt Sossi @kidsfirstparentssecond.org