The most wonderful time of the year is on the way, but you may not be feeling the holiday joy. As a newly-divorced parent, this season can be stressful as you try to figure out parenting time and schedules. Due to the confusion and difficulties, the holidays can become a source of contention.
But it does not have to be that way. Check out the following tips to learn how you can keep the holidays free of drama and co-parent effectively.
1. Prioritize your kids
No matter how old your kids are, make sure you put them first as you plan for the holidays. Their well-being should be the leading priority in all your decisions. Try to make sure they have the opportunity to see family on both sides. At the same time, do not put your children in the awkward spot of choosing who they want to spend a holiday with.
2. Start with your decree
Your divorce decree may have a provision that outlines a holiday parenting schedule. Use this as a starting point and follow it when all else fails. But as you look at your parenting schedule, you may have some questions about it or want to make adjustments.
3. Plan ahead
Do not delay arranging your holiday plans. The earlier you figure everything out, the better. Thanksgiving is coming up, so make sure you talk to your ex about the holiday schedule. Figure out how custody exchanges should work so you have a better chance of avoiding problems.
4. Be flexible
According to the Huffington Post, it is crucial for you to be lenient as you co-parent during the holidays. A successful holiday season requires compromise, and flexibility can make the process better for everyone, including your children.
5. Create new traditions
If your parenting schedule does not let you take part in the holiday rituals you have done in the past, use it as an opportunity to make new ones. Involve your kids in making new traditions and give them ownership over holiday celebrations.