Who Gets the Kids for Thanksgiving?

You are separated or divorced and have children. Most of the year you deal with ok but when it comes to the holidays things can get a little stressful. Thanksgiving starts off the holiday season and determining who gets the kids for Thanksgiving can be stressful and just a painful decision for both parents involved. There are a few tips that might help you decide who gets the kids for Thanksgiving, but the most important thing to keep in mind is being cordial with your ex-spouse. Doing this is important for your children because that person continues being their mother or father. Respect here is important, despite how you really feel. As long as you have open communication where the children are concerned you will be able to work out a good holiday schedule that is acceptable to everyone.

Switch Off
A common way of handling who gets the kids for Thanksgiving, which inevitably brings up Christmas, is to simply switch off. This year the mother gets the kids for Thanksgiving and the father gets the kids for Christmas. The following year the mother gets the kids for Christmas and the father gets the kids for Thanksgiving. Rotating each year like this allows kids to associate both holidays with both families and the traditions that go along with each. Its a great way for the kids to still celebrate both holidays with both sets of families even if it is every other year.

Share the Day
For ex-spouses who live relatively close to one another sharing the day can work out well. Many families celebrate Thanksgiving at lunch and others at dinner. So, one parent could have the children for Thanksgiving lunch and the other parent for Thanksgiving dinner. If family obligations occur at the same meal then everyone should try and work together to do whats in the best interest for the kids. Dont feel bad about asking grandma to celebrate Thanksgiving at supper this year so the kids can be there even though she usually celebrates for lunch. It takes an entire family to get through divorce and make holidays special for the kids. So, do everything it takes to make the day special for the children.

Let the Kids Decide
Sometimes it is best to let the kids decide which holiday they want to spend with which parent. Give the kids a piece of paper and ask them to write down whether they want to spend Thanksgiving with mommy or daddy. Remind them that they will have to spend Christmas with the parent they choose not to spend Thanksgiving with. That way the kids cant make you feel bad for making them spend a certain holiday with you because they chose who they wanted to spend it with! This might be hard for parents to take, but giving the child control over the situation may allow them to enjoy the holidays just a little bit more.