Crafting a joyful holiday experience for your children when you’re co-parenting generally requires a thoughtful approach and advanced planning. Even the most amicable co-parenting relationship can experience strain during the holidays, which means that being proactive now can potentially make or break your holiday experience this year.
Discussing holiday schedules in advance can help to prevent last-minute confusion and help to ensure that both you and your co-parents play an active role in your child’s memory-making. Deciding on who has your child(ren) for which holidays, transportation logistics and traditions observed should ideally be finalized before the holiday rush. Not only will early planning allow your child to know what to expect, but this effort will also allow both you and your co-parent to plan in lower-stress ways.
Flexibility may be necessary
The festive season can be unpredictable, and demonstrating a willingness to adapt can be beneficial for everyone involved. If an unforeseen event necessitates a change in plans, demonstrating flexibility can enhance goodwill between you and your co-parent and reduce the risks of potential conflict. After all, the holiday season should – in an ideal situation – be about the joy and not the logistics of co-parenting.
By keeping your focus on your child’s happiness and the spirit of the season, you and your co-parent can better ensure the holidays remain a special time, regardless of whether your original schedule goes off without a hitch or not.
With that being said, challenges during the holiday season can sometimes underscore a need to modify the terms of a co-parenting plan, perhaps because a child’s needs have changed or the co-parenting relationship has broken down. If this happens to your family this year, know that you can seek legal guidance to explore your rights and options at any time.