Co-Parenting During the Holidays When You Have the Kids
If you are co-parenting with your ex-spouse after divorce, and this year is your turn to have the children over during the holidays, you should consider some tips to make the experience easy on everyone. You need to make sure you are not the only person happy with the arrangement. Believe it or not, making some concessions for your ex can go a long way to getting what you want in the future as you co-parent.
Try To Be Flexible
Even if the agreement is that you have the children for several days over the holidays, you should do your best to compromise when possible. For example, if your ex is having a hard time not seeing the children during your time with them, arrange for a phone call or video chat. Or if you plan to go out for a night and would be leaving the kids with a babysitter or family member anyway, reach out to your ex to find out if he or she would like to watch them instead. Put yourself in your ex’s shoes; you would likely want to see or at least talk to your kids on the phone on or around Christmas day. This way, perhaps your ex will return the favor next year when he or she gets the children.
Find Out What Your Kids Want
As much as they may be having fun at your house, your kids probably miss their other parent, just as they would miss you if they were with your ex-spouse for the holidays. Instead of delighting in the fact that you get to see your kids and your ex doesn’t, ask your children what they want. If it would make them happy to visit their other parent, even for a few hours, you should arrange this if possible. If it turns out all they want is to have their mom and dad in the same room while they open presents, try to get along for a few hours for the sake of the kids. Just make sure it’s what they want.
Stick to Well-Loved Traditions
Of course, not everything can be the same as it was when you were still married to your ex-spouse. Many traditions will have to change, but they do not have to disappear altogether. In fact, keeping them around can be comforting to your kids, and they may be looking forward to many of them. If you used to drive around as a family looking at Christmas lights while drinking hot chocolate, you can still load the kids up in the car and enjoy this tradition. In addition, just because the other parent isn’t there doesn’t mean you can’t watch holiday movies as a family. Again, ask your kids which traditions they have been looking forward to. You can always add new ones if keeping the same old traditions is too painful.
If you and your former spouse have still not come to an agreement on your co-parenting plan, or he or she is not playing by the rules, turn to Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. for help. Don’t let your ex ruin the holidays for you and the children. Instead, get legal help from our friendly, experienced staff when you call our firm.