With the holidays rapidly approaching, a number of divorcing and divorced parents will have to contend with holiday celebrations and gatherings. All too often, these holidays are the source of disputes that end up in court. If you’re reading this, hopefully you can avoid these types of disputes. But if it appears a dispute might be on the horizon, here is some food for thought.
Parents of a child were once in a relationship of some nature. It is well known and accepted that for a relationship to work, there must be compromise. While the marital relationship may no longer exist (or, if the parents were never married, the romantic relationship), a very important relationship continues: parents of a child.Like it or not, the decision to have a child (or risk having a child) means there are certain responsibilities that go along with that decision. Working together with your child’s co-parent is one of those responsibilities. Like any other relationship, it will require compromise if the relationship is going to work.
One measure of parents’ success in raising their children is whether they can compromise when necessary. When they cannot, and disputes have to be resolved by attorneys and/or a judge, the parents have failed.
No one likes to fail. Parents who are inclined to head off to court to decide whether a child has to return home at 6:00 versus 7:00 on Christmas Eve are failing their children. Harsh words, yes, but it is perhaps better to hear them now and reverse course rather than fail the children.
With these thoughts in mind, if you have to, give in. If your family asks why you “caved in” to your former spouse, tell them that your child is better off if her parents aren’t fighting, and you didn’t want to hurt your child and make her the rope in a holiday session of tug-of-war. Do that, and you’ll be a successful parent–even if it’s hard to do.