California parents who are divorced might find it challenging to deal with custody. The holidays are an especially trying time, but there are good ways to effectively co-parent during that time.
Put your children first
One of the best ways to focus on your co-parenting time with your former spouse during the holidays is to put your kids first. Regardless of your parenting schedule, you want them to enjoy themselves. Consider things from your children’s point of view and prioritize them over all else.
Planning ahead is crucial when you will be splitting your custody time over the holidays. Consider your children’s specific needs and whether you or their other parent have a special tradition with the kids during that time. Your kids’ ages should also factor into this as younger children usually need a set routine while teens might want to hang out with friends over their holiday breaks.
Co-parenting over the holidays means being flexible. You might want to consider discussing with your children’s other parent how to split your time with the kids during this time. For example, you might get the children for all of Thanksgiving weekend while they get them during Christmas. Keep in mind that sometimes, unexpected things happen. Someone could end up getting sick.
Talk with your former spouse about holiday gifts for the kids. You might both have the same idea and don’t want to end up giving a child the same exact gift. Coordinating can help prevent this from happening. However, you can also chip in to get a special gift for your child together.
Put aside negative feelings
To be successful co-parents during the holidays and any time, you and your former partner need to put negative feelings aside. Keep in mind that you want to do the best for your children. Being cordial or at least respectful could go a long way.