The holiday season can be a hard time for divorced parents in Columbus, Ohio. Many deal with the stressors of sharing custody during other times of year, but the holidays bring with them a different set of factors that can make one parent resent the fact that the other became the primary parent during the child custody determination.

Experts often suggest that parents do their best to remain amicable for the sake of the children. Doing so during the time leading up to the holidays allows parents to plan ahead, giving both an advantage when it comes time to send the children to their former significant other’s house for Christmas Eve.

In some cases, parents will alternate holidays on an annual basis. This may mean letting the children spend the holidays during odd years with mom and those during even years with dad. Many do not enjoy this option because it means spending a holiday without the children. Instead of focusing on this, some suggest making plans that involve extended family or perhaps taking a vacation.

Other parents will try to split the holidays by allowing the children to spend time with both parents each year. Though this gives both parents access to the children they love, it can cause stress for everyone involved. Creating a rigid schedule that involves a rushed exchange of gifts, meeting and dropping off, or anything along these lines can turn a celebrated day into a dreaded one.

Parents should consider both options before choosing one. One of the most important things to consider during this time is how it will affect the involved child; her or his emotional and physical well-being should be at the forefront of any discussions regarding this. Remember, there are other options as well-it just depends how creative you want to get as co-parents.

Source: Huffington Post, “Putting Children First: The Best Gift Divorced Parents Can Give Their Children This Holiday Season,” Randi L. Rubin, Nov. 20, 2012