Let’s just say it – creating happy holidays among the hustle and bustle of the season can be challenging for even the most happily married couple. So what does that mean for those who are separated and divorced? And more importantly, what does that mean for the children?
First of all, the basic tenets of co-parenting during the year must be upheld during the holiday season: always be focused on what is best for the children, interactions with each other should be focused on the needs of the children not of the parents, expectations should be based on agreements made and expectations should be met.
Basically – you may have your issues with each other but you should seek to put them aside for the best interest of the children that you still need to raise together and the children should in no way ever (EVER!) be put in the middle.
If you are struggling with these basics, there are a lot of good resources for divorced parents.
Recognising that co-parenting during the holidays can take it to a whole new level, we have compiled a short list of things to keep in mind:
** Put the time in early to create a holiday schedule: This will allow time to reach compromise and come up with creative ways to meet everyone’s needs. You also want to make sure your children know what the plan is for the holidays.
** Be flexible and create new traditions: It is almost guaranteed that the holidays will not be like they used to be; set the tone for your kids by showing enthusiasm for creating new traditions versus sulking about the things you can no longer do.
** Take care of your needs: you will be happier and better able to support your kids if you are happy. Be sure to make plans with friends when your kids are with your ex so you are not sad or lonely. But also make sure to schedule some down time so you can recharge your batteries.
If you need some extra help to lighten the load and ensure you are able to concentrate on navigating the holidays successfully with your ex, look no further.
Happy Holidays – to one and to all (even your ex)!!