5 Tips for Co-Parenting During the Holidays

There are many things that change after a divorce, and how you parent your children is a big one. Co-parenting is one of the most significant challenges, and it is even more difficult during the holidays. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help make the entire experience easier for both you and your kids. 

Accept that Things are Different

The first, and likely most important, thing that you can do to make co-parenting successful is accept the fact that things are going to be different. There are many traditions that will need to be changed, or even abandoned, because they just aren’t possible anymore. If you enter the holiday season with the understanding that things have changed, you will be less likely to get upset or disappointed. 

Plan Well in Advance 

Planning your holiday activities as far in advance as possible will help ensure both you and your ex are able to enjoy all that the season has to offer. In addition to planning things in advance, make sure you communicate early with your ex. If possible, get plans in writing (even just via text) so you can ensure you are both on the same page when it comes to adjusting normal parenting time schedules. 

Start New Family Traditions 

Since there is no way to maintain old family traditions exactly as they have been, make sure you come up with some new ones to fill the void. Come up with ideas that you and your children will enjoy and find a time that you can work it into the schedule. It only takes a couple of holiday seasons to establish a great new tradition that you and your kids can enjoy for a lifetime. 

Lean into Flexibility 

While you can rigidly stick to your normal parenting time agreement as it is written, it is often better to show a little flexibility during the holidays. This is especially true if you and your ex have a generally positive relationship when it comes to working things out for the kids. Trading days to accommodate holiday parties and other events will not only help you both to be able to have the kids when you need them but will also make the holidays more enjoyable for your children. 

Take Some Time for Yourself 

There are going to be times when you do not have your children with you on important days. While this can definitely be sad, it is also a great opportunity to focus on some self-care. Just because you would rather be with your kids for certain times does not mean that the day has to be ruined. See if you can schedule time with other friends and family. If not, consider planning a day focused on all your favorite activities like renting a great movie, ordering your favorite meal, and more. Investing into your own self-care will not only be enjoyable but will also help to make you a better parent for when you are with your kids.  

With a little effort, you can make sure that the holidays are a joy filled time for you and your children. And remember, even if not everything goes exactly as you hope this year, there is always next year to improve and move on so make sure to focus on the positive all year long.

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