Holiday Parenting Time
Written by Tamie Jo Morog   
Thursday, 25 February 2010 10:05

The holidays are here!  The joyful time of celebration and family! Not for you or your children?  Why?  Are you or the other parent causing turmoil?  Are you or the other parent using the children or the children’s time as a bargaining chip?  Or do you or the other parent want to cause crisis in the other’s life and the easiest way is to use the children?  Don’t use the children!  They are only children for a very short period in their lives.

The holidays can be a joyful time of celebration and family if the parents remember the following:  1) Your children will never be this age again; 2) no matter what issues there are between the parents the children should and must come first; 3) the issues between the parents will go away or change, but for the rest of their lives the children will remember how the parents treated each other and these events will affect the children forever; 4) the holidays are for the children and if the parents are arguing, bickering, or fighting, the  children will not be able to enjoy the holidays.

Sure, there are times when the children cannot experience all celebrations, but give a little and take a little.  Remember, not all families celebrate the holiday meal at Noon or at 5 p.m. in the afternoon. In the case of Christmas, Santa doesn’t come to all families on the morning of Christmas Day. Some families celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve or the afternoon of Christmas Day.  In the case of other holidays, there are creative ways to celebrate these special times as well.

If there are issues, consult the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (IPTGs).    Regarding Christmas vacation, the IPTGs state that each parent gets “One-half of the period which will begin at 8:00 P.M. on the evening the child is released from school and continues to December 30 at 7:00 P.M. If the parents cannot agree on the division of this period, the custodial parent shall have the first half in even-numbered years.”  This year is an odd numbered year.  Therefore, the non-custodial parent gets the first half of this period.  The custodial parent then gets the second half.  The New Years’ holiday begins on December 30th at 7:00 P.M. and continues until 7:00 P.M. of the evening before school resumes.  In years ending with an even number, such as 2010, the non-custodial parent gets to exercise this parenting time.  Therefore this New Year’s holiday is the non-custodial parent’s holiday.


Remember, however, that the IPTGs are only recommendations. The best way to exercise holiday parenting time with children is to give due consideration to all family traditions – even the other parent’s family traditions. Children’s lives are enriched if they can celebrate their families’ traditions.  They should not have to experience their parents bickering or have the pressure of mom and dad fighting, or arguing about where the children are going to be at any certain time or who they are going to be with.


Please remember, put the children first. They will never be this age again, but they will remember how their parents treated each other for the rest of their lives.





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