These co-parenting tips can help you win the holidays. With everything going on, setting some co-parenting ground rules can go a long way in preserving your sanity. Co-parenting during the holidays calls for anything from attending school pageants to scheduling and coordinating plans. Do yourself a favor and avoid the added stress. The below co-parenting communication guide can help you to have a great time with your kids while maintaining a civil relationship with your ex.
Communicate Clearly and as Often as Needed
The end of every year comes with a whirlwind of holidays. That’s why it is essential to communicate with your ex-spouse or partner regarding his or her holiday plans. One of the best co-parenting communication tools is meeting in person with a list of points you want to address in the conversation.
Ask if you could meet or schedule a 30-minute call to discuss their intended plans, the visitation schedule and their expectations for the kids. Try to map out who gets the children on which dates, and where pick-up and drop-offs will happen, as the holidays call for visits to different family homes.
If plans change while you are spending time with the children, update your ex with any changes and request modifications.
The first two co-parenting tips go hand-in-hand. Once you understand each other’s plans and desires, you can begin to plan the holidays according to your children’s school schedule and your shared custody schedule. Of course, discuss holiday plans with your friends and family ahead of time, so they know whether you will be visiting with or without the kids.
Plan for special accommodations such as plane tickets, hotels, and having gifts sent to your destination ahead of time. Also coordinate with your co-parent the dates, times, and pick up locations, so there is no confusion when the time comes.
Be Willing to Compromise
Regardless of your relationship with your ex, it is in your best interest to cooperate, compromise and concede whenever possible. Your link to this person is for the long haul, and using the holidays to get over on them will inevitably come back to haunt you when you need him or her to be understanding at some point. All of these co-parenting tips are viable year-round, but it is good to remind yourself of this one frequently.
Stand as United Front
Your children may have different desires for their holiday plans. Instead of going to your parents’ they may want to see their other grandparents. Once you and your ex determine when you will each be with your kids on which date, stick to your shared decisions.
This is one of the best co-parenting ground rules. Allowing your children to see you and your ex openly disagree will encourage them to challenge you both. Be supportive of one another when you set the rules for your kids.
Be Patient with Yourself, Your Ex, and Children
As fun as they can be, the holidays can be just as stressful. People, including you, are spending a lot more money than usual, pressured to host or attend gatherings, and expected to buy the newest toys or popular item on the market.
It can be easy to lose your patience and temper when you feel the stress of the holidays. Try to remember what the holidays are about, take a few deep breaths, and let it go. Remember, you are doing the best you can do with what you have.
Make the Holidays About Your Children
Co-parenting with no communication only adds to your frustration and ultimately makes your children suffer. You must ensure your children have a peaceful, fun time full of lasting memories over the holiday season, regardless of the stress you may feel. While you have experienced many holiday seasons, your children have experienced only a few.
Put Aside Time for Yourself
Yes, the holidays are about your children. However, that does not mean you need to sacrifice your inner peace or enjoyment at all costs. Many co-parenting classes encourage putting aside time for yourself to enjoy your friends, family or time alone. Taking care of yourself enables you to be the best parent you can be.
Avoid One-Upmanship with Your Ex
This is another one of those co-parenting tips we must remind ourselves of regularly. Maintaining a civil and cordial relationship with your ex is vital in many ways. Do not use the holidays to make your ex look bad to your kids, and do not bad mouth your ex in the presence of your children.
Coordinating with your ex can prevent double-gifting. By talking to your ex about gifts, you can even propose splitting the cost of some of the more expensive gifts and present them from both parents.
Develop Special Traditions
Most of the co-parenting tips above focus on your ability to share responsibility with another person. This one allows you to establish something just for you and the kids. Come up with a unique activity your kids will associate with you. For example, you can take them for a hike every year, make special pizzas or sundaes or take them to see the lights through the neighborhood.
For more information on custody arrangements and visitation rights, call Bansmer Law in Stockton, CA at (209) 395-0200 today.