3 Tips For Holiday Co-Parenting

The winter holidays can be a beautiful and stressful time of year for any family, but one that has recently become separated can add a bit of sourness to that mix. Finding new ways to celebrate the same holiday may take a little outside-the-box thinking. 

Here are a few ideas that might help your newly separated household run a little more smoothly.

Remember to keep the holidays about your kids.

We all have expectations about how holidays are going to go, but it is important to remember that while adults have a hard time with divorce, children might not fully grasp what’s going on. Making sure that your child doesn’t dread the holidays because their parents add unnecessary chaos to family time is important in keeping them happy.

There is no reason for parents to compete with each other by trying to outdo the other for holiday gifts or making the most memorable experience. Each parent should give the children a similar and honest experience.

Depending on the age of your children, it may be important to ask them what they would like to do for the holidays. Keeping them involved in the process can make them feel like they are involved in your life and decision-making, and that they have some element of control in a chaotic situation especially if this is the first winter in separate households.

Communicate and plan ahead.

Direct communication with your ex-spouse may not seem like a great way to spend time this holiday season, but it can prevent confusion and disputes that take away from everyone’s experience of the holiday season.

The plan should be as fair as it can be with a focus on giving the children as close to equal time as possible with each parent. This may be a plan that involves swapping entire holidays every other year. For example, if this year one parent gets the winter holiday this year and the other gets the winter holiday next year, perhaps the other parent gets Thanksgiving this year also.

Coordinating gift-giving helps avoid unhealthy competition that often will negatively affect the way your children see the holiday. It also limits the probability of buying the same gifts!

Start New Traditions.

You know that your family has changed. And your kids know that too. Often, family traditions from the past will be impossible to continue or feel strange without the other parent around. Don’t let this stop you from having a special holiday season with your family.

Visiting family out of town, and going on trips for the season are great places to start — but something as simple as making s’mores during a movie marathon might make all the difference in the world.

If you’d like some ideas about ways to make holiday time with your family special, the internet is inundated with resources that can help.

Borntreger Family and Marital Law

If there are issues about how to deal with holiday time or you feel that you’re being treated unfairly after a divorce, feel free to reach out. Consultations are always free.

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