Keep lesser holidays in mind when negotiating parenting time

Planning keeps your family traditions alive

a family hiking in the woods

The Fourth of July is fast approaching (where did June go?). It is one of those holidays that parents often forget when scheduling parenting time. The obvious Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and Easter are often the only holidays that are taken into consideration when sitting down to negotiate parenting schedules.

The ‘lesser’ holidays, such as Labor Day, Memorial Day, Halloween and the Fourth of July are often the holidays that are overlooked. But these are often the days that families use for traditional camp outings, cottage get-togethers for extended family and friends, backyard barbeques, going to local celebrations and fireworks, or fishing trips for the family.

If your family tends to celebrate one of these holidays with specific traditions, you’ll want to keep it in mind when negotiating your holiday parenting time so that you can keep those traditions alive for your kids. Keeping stability in their lives helps to ease the emotional upheaval that often accompanies divorce. The more things that you can keep the same, the better they feel.

You both cannot claim the same day that traditionally has been special to your family, which means one of you will have to cope with the change, unless your co-parenting relationship is good enough to include both of you in the celebration.  If you are the parent who is left out, it is important to let your children know that you have made alternative plans and will be fine. Be sure to let them know you will miss them, as their presence is what made the day special, but don’t put a guilt trip on them for spending time with their dad instead of you.

Moms you want to consider that Labor Day is right before school starts. If you need that time to do the annual back-to-school preparations, by all means ask for it. It will make your life a bit easier if you think ahead about the smaller holidays and what they mean to your family. Nothing herein constitutes a legal opinion.

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