Dealing with child custody and visitation after a divorce is not always easy. This is especially true during the holidays. When Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, it can be hard for parents to figure out how to best share the children during this time.
It is possible for there to be a lot of drama, resentment, and negative feelings during this time. But there does not have to be and actually, there should not be. The holidays should be a special time for children. They should not have to deal with the stress and bitterness from their parents during this time. The focus should be on having fun and making memories. It is possible even after a divorce. Here are some tips for co-parenting during the holidays.
Talk to Your Children
Your children are your main priority, so if they are old enough to understand, make sure they are aware of what will be happening during the holidays. If this is the first holiday since the divorce, they may not be aware that things will be different. Preparing your children ahead of time will make them more comfortable.
You may even want your children to tell you what they would like to do. This will give you an idea of how to split time with each parent. For example, your child may want to spend the holidays with both parents. Or maybe they want to spend Thanksgiving with one parent and Christmas with the other.
Do not wait until the last minute. Start prepping for the holidays before Halloween. Start discussing plans and allow for the other parent to make suggestions as well. You do not want any disputes on Christmas Eve.
Discuss Activities and Gifts
Once you decide how parenting time will be split during the holidays, you need to figure out what exactly you will be doing when your child is with you. Do you have a routine in mind? What activities will you do? You should also discuss gifts with the other parent so you are not doubling up on presents. Figure out who will buy what.
Use an App
A co-parenting app or calendar can make things easier for divorced parents. You can use it to keep track of activities as well as exchange messages with the other parent. You can also use this technology to send photos.
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Many children look forward to the holidays, but it can be stressful for divorced parents. These tips can help you stay sane and avoid conflict.