Co-Parenting Tips for the Holidays

With the holiday season quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to take a look at your holiday parenting plan, or, if you don’t have one, to work with your ex to create one. Holidays can be stressful, and can often bring up a host of emotions and nostalgia, both for you and your children. To avoid adding to tension during the holidays, plan ahead so that you can keep the focus on celebrating with loved ones.

  1. Communicate Early
    Take the time to check in with your ex now, to make sure you are on the same page. If not, are changes needed? Can you work together to resolve any issues, or do you need some help to work out your differences? By starting this conversation now, you will give yourself enough time to work through differences together, or if you reach an impasse, you will have time to get help from a mediator.
  2. Focus on the Kids
    Keep your focus on your children. Remember that your children need to be “kids” during the holidays. Try to be flexible while working to create plans that have their interests at heart. If possible, celebrate some holidays together. If celebrating in the family home would be too difficult, look for neutral places to celebrate together as a family and create new traditions.
  3. Be Flexible while Maintaining Traditions
    Often, a new holiday plan means that one or both parents celebrate a holiday in a new place or on a different date. Make sure to reassure your children that they will not be missing out on any traditions that are important to them. Maybe the Easter Bunny will be coming to your house a weekend early, or perhaps your children will celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual holiday with one side of the family, and again on the following weekend with the other side.
  4. Stay Positive
    Keep in mind that your children will read your cues, so try to be positive and encourage excitement about creating new traditions, knowing your children may be facing sadness over past holiday memories. Remember, what children want and need is to have quality time with their loved ones, and this can happen at any time and place.