‘Tis the season for holiday festivities that include gift-giving, eating favorite foods, and spending a lot of time together as a family. If you have children and are separated from your spouse or are divorced, the holidays can be an especially emotional and challenging time. While you aren’t the only set of divorced parents who are navigating these challenges, trying to make it through these next few weeks can make you feel isolated from other parents or families.
Co-parenting, while important for your children, is simply not always easy. The holiday emotions can bring up plenty of unresolved conflicts, making this season even more volatile. Here are a few ideas on how to work through some common co-parenting challenges.
Plan Your Schedule and Stick to It
Your custody agreement should already have guidelines for the holiday season. However, it can be helpful if you communicate with your ex-partner to confirm the holiday schedule for this next month. This way, you can assure everyone is on the same page and there will be no surprises in the upcoming weeks. If your children are older, you can even involve them with the planning as well so they know when they will be with you and when they will be with their other parent.
Talk About Gifts
If you have open communication with your ex-partner, talk (or text) about some gift-giving guidelines. For example, be sure one parent or grandparent is not giving a plethora of expensive gifts. It is best to coordinate gift ideas and expectations before everyone gets into the swing of the season.
If you don’t have a good relationship with your ex, remind yourself the holidays are not a competition. Write this phrase down in your journal and in your personal calendar so that you won’t be as rattled if your ex-partner or their family goes overboard with their gift-giving.
Make Other Plans
If you aren’t with your kids on special days or for special events during the season, make plans with other friends. You don’t have to spend Christmas Eve at home alone, feeling sad, unless you want to. Ask a family member or friend if you can come over for the evening or find a volunteer opportunity that is sure to keep you busy and helpful.
If you are considering divorce this holiday season, or if you need assistance with developing a custody plan that actually works, work with us here at Gandhi Selim Law. Our team offers years of experience in family law, and we pledge to advocate for your best interests at all times.
Call us today to set up your free consultation.