The holiday season is supposed to be one of the most exciting and enjoyable times of the year, especially for children. If you've gone through a divorce, you know that co-parenting is not always as simple as it sounds. This is particularly true during the holidays.
Even if you've run into trouble in past years, there are tips you can follow for a better co-parenting experience this holiday season.
- Plan in advance: Discuss the holidays with the other parent as soon as possible, as this gives you time to work through any disagreements and scheduling conflicts. It's natural to put this off, as you don't want to get into an argument, but you can only hide from the conversation for so long.
- Remain flexible: When both parents remain flexible, it's much easier for everyone to get what they want during the holiday season. For example, if your ex-spouse requests a few extra hours with your children on Christmas Eve, consider if you can make it happen.
- Start new traditions: The traditions you held during your marriage may not work for you and your children now that you're divorced, and that's okay. There is no better time than this holiday season to start new traditions.
- Don't compete with your ex-spouse: You don't need to buy your children gifts you can't afford just to "show up" the other parent. You don't need to provide your children with every holiday experience imaginable, so you can tell yourself that you're better than the other parent.
Along with the above, the most important thing to remember is that you want to give your children a nice holiday experience. As long as you spend time with them, everything should work out in the end.
If you've done everything you can to get along with your spouse but nothing seems to work, you'll want to look into your legal rights.
For example, your ex-spouse may violate the parenting agreement time after time. It's okay to let this slide once, but if it's a habit you need to take action. Neglecting to do so could put your entire holiday season in jeopardy, not to mention your relationship with your children the rest of the year.