Parental co-parenting do’s and don’ts for the holidays
It’s possible to create happy co-parenting family holidays despite the challenges you face. For one thing, when you approach the holidays, do it with your children’s best interests in mind. Holiday memories often last a lifetime.
What you want to avoid is leaving your kids with memories of fighting, stress, anxiety or guilt. Kids should not feel guilty about spending time at the other parent’s house. Splitting them off from siblings so parents get their fair share of time is also not going to create a fond memory.
Holiday Co-Parenting Tips
- Make holiday plans ahead of time to create a festive attitude and avoid negative emotions
- Share some part of Christmas with each parent, such as Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas Day with the other parent
- Take your children’s preferences into consideration
- Plan time to spend with extended family members such as grandparents and aunts and uncles
- If face-to-face interaction with the other parent is causing conflict, try emailing instead or mediation
What are some do’s and don’ts for sharing holiday time?
Focus on the positive instead of the negative:
- Negative. Don’t let your children know how sad it makes you being all alone while they spend time with the other parent. Also, don’t place the blame on the other parent saying it’s their fault you won’t be able to spend time with them.
- Positive. Instead, tell your children how fortunate they are to celebrate the holiday twice, once with each parent.
What are some do’s and don’ts for sharing holiday gift giving?
- Negative. Don’t criticize the gift the other parent gave your child. Also, don’t tell the child they can’t bring the other parent’s gifts to your house or take your gifts to the other parent’s house.
- Positive. Instead, you can praise the other parent’s gifts by saying how you are excited to see them. Allow your kids to take your gifts with them when they go to the other parent’s so the other parent can enjoy them too.
What are some do’s and don’ts regarding financial talk during the holidays?
- Negative. Don’t tell your child that you can’t afford to buy them gifts because you have to pay child support. Also, don’t blame the other parent for not paying child support as a reason for not giving the children as many gifts. Certainly don’t send messages through your children to the other parent. Making children take sides creates stress for them.
- Positive. Instead, tell them that you’re going to have a wonderful holiday together, no matter what. You can collaborate with the other parent to give your children the items on their gift list. You might even both pitch in to buy an expensive gift and give it to the children together.
(Reference: Psychology Today)