After your divorce, you may worry that the split means an unhappy future for your children. However, the American Society for the Positive Care of Children notes that 80% of kids adjust to divorce better when their moms and dads co-parent effectively.
You may find that holidays are among the most challenging times for co-parenting, but there are a few strategies you might use to make the transition easier for everyone involved.
Stay true to your calendar
When major holidays approach, consult your visitation calendar and try to follow it as closely as possible. While you might make a few changes to spend extra time with your children once your ex-spouse approves, keeping to your visitation schedule can avoid confusion and giving your children the unhappy task of having to choose one parent over the other every holiday.
Avoid packed schedules
Holidays are often stressful because of all the activities involved, but your kids may feel even pressure when their holidays are planned down to the last minute. Vacations, time with both families and the chance to revisit old traditions at both homes may make your children feel tense and overscheduled. While some scheduling may help the holidays run smoothly, remember to give your kids time to relax and play.
No matter your plans, over any holiday, maintaining positive contact with your ex-spouse can avoid confusion and misunderstandings that might cause arguments, hurt feelings and stress for your children. Before you embark on a holiday, talk to your ex and make an agreement for when and how you plan to maintain contact.
Children of divorced parents are usually at a higher risk for emotional and learning issues. You can help prevent these problems by working to create a holiday co-parenting schedule that everyone can agree to.