Spending the holidays in two different homes can be difficult for the children of divorced parents. Your divorce decree probably states how long-distance travel arrangements are to be handled, such as how to notify the other parent about the travel arrangements and how to pay for the tickets. However, there are many additional things you can do to make long-distance visitation easier for your children.
You can go beyond the requirements of the court order by preparing the children, setting a good example, and taking a positive approach to holiday visitation. For example, you can prepare your children for long-distance visits by helping them pack and letting them know their visitation schedule well in advance. You can set a good example by helping them chose a holiday gift for the other parent and keeping conversations about the other spouse positive. And most of all, you can set a tone that allows the children to relax and enjoy their visit. Don’t show anxiety and encourage excitement about upcoming long-distance visits. Your cheerful attitude will reduce your children’s stress, help them start new traditions, and help them create a new sense of normal for the holidays.
Cindy Diggs, Board Certified in Family Law and Civil Trial Law, Diggs & Sadler 5300 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77056, (713) 766-5355