TOOLS FOR CREATING PARENTING SCHEDULE

HOLIDAY

TIME

DAD

MOM

Passover    
Easter   
Mother’s Day   
Memorial Day   
Father’s Day   
July 4th   
Labor Day   
Rosh Hashanah    
Yom Kippur   
Halloween   
Thanksgiving   
Hanukkah    
Christmas Eve/Day    
Christmas Day   
New Years E/D   
Child’s Birthday   
Child’s Birthday   
Child’s Birthday Party   
Parent Birthday   
Parent Birthday   
Grandparent Birthday   
Special Family Events, e.g., Family Reunions    

Some Suggestions for Developing Your Holiday Parenting Schedule:

Holidays with Multiple Celebration Days:  some holidays, like Christmas, Easter and Passover have 2 celebration days.For example, “Christmas” can be divide up with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, “Easter” may be divided with Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and Passover may be divided with first night Seder and second night Seder.  Other holidays, like Halloween, are also celebrated during the season with parties and events in addition to the actual date. While one day might be more widely celebrated, the second day also gives the other parent an opportunity to be involved in the holiday each year, even if he or she doesn’t have the “primary” day in that particular year.

Federal Holidays:  In the case of Federal holidays, which are generally celebrated on a Monday, many parents elect to extend the previous weekend by 24 hours.  Also, if only one parent has off from work on the Federal holiday(s), it may also make for a natural extension of time.

Children’s Birthdays:  Children’s birthdays may or may not supercede the regular parenting plan.  Some parents prefer to give each parent the opportunity to see the child on his or her birthday, even if it’s just for a short period of time. Other parents split the birthday with the actual day to one parent, and the following Saturday or Sunday to the other parent for the birthday party, alternating each year.  Talking in advance about whether you’ll invite each other, both extended families, and/or new partners to the child’s party, and how you’ll handle the stress surrounding this mix of relatives and friends, can make the event go more smoothly.

Alternating Holidays Each Year:  Many parents alternate holidays, with one parent having a holiday in even-numbered years, and the other having the children in odd-numbered years.  Or, if one family has a special event held each year (e.g., Uncle Fred’s 4th of July Picnic), one parent may have the children on that holiday each year and the other parent has the children on another holiday each year. This allows you to create family traditions that are repeated each year.

Parent Birthdays:  May parents elect to use the following language:  At the birthday parent’s option:  children are with the birthday parent or with the other parent with 48 hours’ notice to the other parent.