Did you know 50% of children in the U.S. are denied the lifelong advantages of having two parents who share the parenting responsibilities?
These advantages include increased confidence, willingness to take risks, an internal sense of right and wrong, better problem-solving skills and an overall sense of psychological, physical and emotional wellbeing.
This makes your role in co-parenting all the more important. Let’s take a look at 4 co-parenting tips for the holidays.
1. Handling Tears, Grief and Loss
Child custody battles are difficult for everyone involved. And whatever you’re feeling in regards to a split, multiply that my about a hundred to see through your child’s eyes. This isn’t to discount your own pain during this trying time. It’s to help give you a clearer picture of the entire impact of divorce. And when the pain becomes apparent, you and your ex can agree on ways to consistently respond to your child’s natural emotions of fear, anger and sadness.
Even if you and your ex are glad you made the split, a lot of emotions are going to be circulating for some time. The holidays are usually the strongest trigger because things are so different now. And you, your ex and your child will need to go through the grieving process in your own time.
Be patient with yourself and your patience with your child will naturally flow. Allow you both to cry when you need to, especially when a traditional family Christmas song comes on or other memorable moments. These things need to be grieved.
2. Negotiating Responsibly
No time of year emphasizes the changes after a split like the holidays. The new traditions and separate gatherings can really take a toll on the whole family. When you and your ex can calmly discuss your expectations and requests of the other parent over the holidays, your child will be able to see you as united front.
3. Being Open and Adaptable
You may have heard, “when you have the choice between being right or kind, be kind.” The more open and flexible you can be when you’re discussing rules with your ex, the smoother the holidays will go. Be willing to let go of any rigid rules you might want your ex to enforce when your child is with them. These may include things like, “Only one piece of pumpkin pie.”
This is not to say that this request is unreasonable. But when you’re co-parenting over the holidays, you’ll really want to prioritize the most important rules and enforce consistently. A good rule of thumb is 3 rules consistently enforced at both homes. This also helps with stability and predictably for your child, which contributes to feelings of safety.
4. Keeping the Lines of Communication Open
As a co-parent during the holidays, one of the best things you can do for your child is keep the lines of communication open with them and their other parent. For example, your ex may want to take your child to see Santa Claus, and you may think your child’s too old. Work together as a unit and communicate your feelings and needs on this topic to the other parent. And don’t be afraid to give a little over the holidays. At the same time, know where you need to stand firm.
For a Free Case Evaluation, Contact The Law Office of David Pedrazas in SLC, Utah
Holidays are rough following a divorce. They’re even rougher while you’re in the throes of custody hearings and negotiations.
But there is help out there.
For more guidance and support on how you can make it through the process of divorce, give us a call at The Law Office of David Pedrazas. With over 15 years’ experience, David Pedrazas is committed to helping you build a better tomorrow for yourself and your children. Give us a call at 801-263-7078 to schedule your free case evaluation today.