For co-parents, the holidays have the potential to be a period of stress and negotiation. Co-parenting during this time requires preparation, communication and a spirit of cooperation to better ensure that the season remains festive for everyone involved.
Early preparation is the first step in successful co-parenting during the holidays. This doesn’t just mean having a plan for where the children will spend their time, but also being ready for the emotional complexities that this season can bring. By setting expectations in advance, everyone can better prepare for the season ahead.
Communication, flexibility and the “spirit of the season”
Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of co-parenting at any time of year, but it’s particularly crucial during the holidays. Be transparent about plans and expectations. Discuss and agree upon gift-giving to avoid competition or duplication. Use a co-parenting app or email to keep a record of agreements and conversations if that helps keep communication clear and focused.
Flexibility is another vital aspect of holiday co-parenting. Be willing to compromise and find solutions that work for both parents and the children. Sometimes this might mean celebrating on different days or combining traditions. What’s most important is creating a positive experience for the children, not the specific dates on the calendar.
Above all, keep the spirit of the season at heart. The holidays are a time for giving, kindness and gratitude. Model these values in your co-parenting interactions. Showing respect and goodwill towards your co-parent can set a positive example for your children and help make the season brighter for everyone, regardless of how your efforts are ultimately received. And should any serious trouble arise, just remember that you can seek legal guidance about your rights and options at any time.