Co-parenting During the Holiday Season
Tips for the most wonderful time of the year
The holiday season can be very stressful and overwhelming. Divorce makes this season even more challenging. Holidays are typically marketed as a time for love and family, but for so many families it can be a very emotional time period. However, these holiday challenges can be overcome and a joyful holiday is definitely attainable. Some of these following tips for co-parenting during the holidays can ease holiday stress and make this season more enjoyable for everyone.
- The children come first and foremost
Try to look at things through your child’s perspective. What is the healthiest experience possible for them? What will make their holiday as fun as possible? Remember to keep their emotions and feelings in mind. Never treat your child like a possession or talk negative about your fellow co-parent in front of your child.
- Treat your ex like a business-partner
Remember to remain civil and as amicable as possible. It is important to establish boundaries and to still treat your ex with respect. Work together with your ex and have healthy communication to make co-parenting go as smoothly as possible.
- Make sure you always plan ahead
Try creating a parenting plan that maps out how holidays are spent. Discuss in advance with your fellow co-parent how the holidays will be split up and celebrated. Also discuss what traditions will remain in place and also leave room in plan for last-minute changes.
- Remain Flexible
Sometimes life happens and you never cannot predict the future. Remember to keep an open-mind around the holidays and be prepared for the unexpected. Be open to switching times and days with your ex and consider what will be best course of action for your kid.
- Coordinate Gift exchange
A lot of the time, the holidays become extreme and it easy to get carried away. You do not want to end up trying to top your ex with excessive gifts. It is important to put a budget in place, discuss the amount of gifts, as well as talk about gifts that you don’t see as appropriate. Proper communication is vital.
A lot of people get flustered and feel like their drowning in stress due to the holidays. Remember to still take care of yourself through this process and take the time to de-stress. The better mental and emotional health you maintain, the better you will be able to parent and take care of your children.
- HAVE FUN!
Don’t forget to enjoy the holiday! Life doesn’t always go as planned or work out as expected. Never forget to live life in the moment and enjoy every minute. Take time to really bond and laugh with your child. Create great memories that will last a lifetime 🙂
Constantly maintain good communication with your co-parent and make sure you are both on the same page. If you feel like you and your co-parent cannot agree or still have high levels of conflicts, try discussing a plan of action with a family therapist or a mediator in order to reach a resolution. The holidays can still be the most wonderful time of the year,despite the new adjustments.