THE DIVORCERER SPEAKS: Parenting Time in the HoliDAZE: The 3 Keys to Success

December is a stressful time – gift giving, social commitments, work, school schedules and performances, vacation schedules, Holidays, year-end celebrations and everything that falls in-between.  It is no surprise that this stressful time of the year leads to high-conflict in scheduling and coordinating parenting time.  While many parents have set schedules for regular and special (holiday) parenting time, this time of year creates changes and variances in routine that often lead to unnecessary conflict.  Here are the three keys to success in order to lessen conflict in scheduling and coordinating parenting time during the HoliDAZE:

  1. Communicate with the other parent about all of the schedules for the parents and the children.  Is there a way to open up the lines of communication even more than the routine method you are presently using (text, email, live chat) to make transitions, scheduling and conflict resolution easier on everyone?

 

  1. BE FLEXIBLE. Before saying “no” or “yes” too quickly simply ask yourself, “what is the best and most reasonable outcome of this request?”  Is there a way to help each other that may allow for some give and take to benefit everyone?

 

  1. Listening to someone and hearing someone are two entirely different things.  In fact, to hear someone is just to perform the act of perceiving the sound by the ear and listening to someone is something that you must consciously elect to do in order for the brain to process.  Simply remembering this difference can limit conflict in that you are making a concerted effort to listen to the other parent or child about what and why they are requesting something.

You can find Jennifer R. Ward, Founder of WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC at www.wardfamilylawchicago.com or you can follow her on Facebook @WardFamilyLaw or Twitter @WardFamLawIL