Our Legal Resident, Marci, has put together a great list of “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” for how to keep things merry and calm during the holidays as you co-parent.
- Make your children the priority. Your children’s well-being needs to be kept at the forefront of planning around the holidays. So put any drama aside and try to keep things peaceful between you and your co-parent.
Make plans ahead of time and let your children know the plans. The sooner everyone knows what is going on for the upcoming holiday, the more time everyone has to adjust. If there is any confusion over parenting time, review your parenting plan or divorce decree if you have one.
- Consider spending the holidays together if you and your co-parent can keep things cooperative in the best interests of the children.
- Discuss gift giving with your co-parent early on to avoid buying duplicates of the same gift. Additionally, discuss with your co-parent the idea of giving one big gift to your children together, maybe something you know they really want. This will show your children that you are both still one unit and there for them no matter what.
- Consider making new traditions. Although, it might be best to wait for next year to begin these new traditions if your divorce is recent, so as to give your children time to adjust.
- Surround yourself with family and loved ones, especially if your children are spending this year with your co-parent. Being alone during the holidays can be tough – so make sure you have someone to call if you are feeling alone.
Try making plans ahead of time such as:
- reading a new book,
- join a support group for newly divorced parents,
- getting involved in volunteer work,
- starting a new hobby,
- creating something special to surprise your children with when they get back,
- or go somewhere different for a few days!
- Don’t make your children feel guilty for not spending time with you during the holiday if they are spending it with your co-parent. Encourage them to have a great time! You don’t want to spoil their holiday. Remind yourself it’s your turn next year (or whatever your parenting plan provides).
- Don’t post negatively about your ex on social media if you and your ex aren’t getting along during the holiday season. You are the one who ultimately ends up looking like the “Grinch”.
- Don’t feel pressure to “win the holidays”. Keep things peaceful and amicable between you and your co-parent during this special time. If you compete over giving the best presents or time spent with the children, it will make things more stressful for everyone involved.
We are located in downtown Nashua within walking distance of the Nashua Family Court. Please call us at 943-5647 and we will be happy to set up a consultation to help you create an action plan for the holidays.