The holiday season can be a magical time for families, but for co-parents, it can also inspire unique challenges. Balancing the joys of the season with the complexities of shared parenting requires planning, communication and a spirit of cooperation.
“But, wait!” you may be saying. “The holidays are nearly here! I CAN’T plan early!” If you’re a co-parent who is starting to panic as the holidays draw near, know that even keeping a few simple tips in mind can help you and your kids have a jolly holiday. Then, you can start planning early for next year so that you can avoid this kind of last-minute stress from now on.
Tips worth considering
Maintain open lines of communication with your co-parent. When discussing plans, be clear, concise and respectful. Try to approach the conversation with a positive attitude and an understanding that compromise may be necessary especially because the holidays are already so close. Tools like co-parenting apps can be helpful for managing schedules and keeping communication focused and documented.
While flexibility is often key in co-parenting, it is perhaps never more so than during the holidays. The holiday season often inspires unexpected events and changes in plans. Be willing to compromise when these situations arise if doing so is possible and appropriate. Remember, the goal is to create a joyful holiday experience, even if it means deviating from your original plan.
Finally, it likely goes without saying, but you’ll want to keep your children’s needs and wishes at the forefront. The holidays can be an emotionally charged time for kids in a co-parenting arrangement. Be attentive to their feelings and provide them with the support they need to enjoy the season, even if you’re feeling stressed. And to that end, make sure to take time to practice self-care. Taking care of your emotional and physical well-being will put you in a better position to care for your children and handle co-parenting challenges effectively.