Co-parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances, but during the holidays it can be even more stressful. Navigating these issues can also be tough, especially when the divorce is relatively new. However, it’s important for both parties to collaborate effectively to ensure their kids feel loved and respected during the holidays. Psychology Today offers the following co-parenting tips to help you deal with common divorce issues during the holidays.
Create new holiday traditions
Perhaps your family had long-standing holiday traditions prior to your divorce. Maintaining these traditions in the wake of your separation will probably be difficult, which can leave kids feeling unfulfilled. Developing new traditions with your kids can take their minds off the divorce and help them look to the future with hope. While this transition may be difficult, it’s in the best difference of your kids to move forward.
Have a plan for dealing with loneliness
In some cases, parents may find themselves alone while their kids spend time with the other parent. Dealing with this sense of loss can be very challenging, and parents may feel compelled to reach out to their kids on a frequent basis while they’re away. It’s important that children develop strong bonds with both parents and both parents must respect this process. While it’s OK to contact your kids while they’re away, make sure you’re not interfering with their bonding experience. Instead, make plans with your friends and family to keep loneliness and hurt feelings at bay.
Schedule time for the family to get together
While it can be uncomfortable, it’s good kids to spend time with both parents at the same time after the divorce. If possible, try to schedule an outing with you and your ex for the benefit of your children. Even if it’s just a holiday lunch, kids often feel elated at the prospect of their parents sharing time together. However, if you feel that it will be too difficult to spend time with your ex, don’t rush it.