The greatest wish of many children of divorce during the holidays is that
Mom and Dad will get back together. Even though the sad truth is that
this is probably not going to happen, you as responsible parents can cooperate,
and make the holidays as happy as possible for your child. Children tend
to worry about the parent they won’t be with during the holidays.
They often have conflicting feelings of sadness, anger and guilt. They
are not sure how to act or who to please.
Here are five helpful co-parenting tips on how to help your child through
Always Make Your Child a Priority!
No matter how old the child, consider their feelings and what they want
as well as what is arranged. Let them feel as though they are part of
this decision-making process. Keep your children out of parenting disputes!
Consider your Child’s Feelings!
Remember many children of divorced families will have conflicted feelings
during the holidays.
Help them so they don’t default to feeling responsible for the divorce.
Encourage them to have a good time with the other parent. Don’t
bad talk the other parent. It is the worst thing you can do at any time
in a divorce situation, but particularly so during the holidays. Help
them get ready for their holiday visit with the other parent. When they
come home, be interested in what they did and ask questions about the
time spent with the other parent. This behavior will help your child feel
less anxious and hopefully, happier.
Plan well in advance.
Discuss and share information with the other parent. Make plans with the
other parent. Make some of those plans to all be together for part of
the holiday season, if possible. Try to coordinate gifts with your ex
so your child receives a normal amount of presents and no duplicates.
Conveying a strong united front helps a child feel secure and more loved
especially during the holidays. Remember, you divorced your spouse, not
your child. A strong co-parenting relationship is the best gift you can
give your child this holiday season!
Good co-parenting requires compromise to be successful. Sometimes planning
holidays around visitation schedules can be chaotic. But if this is not
possible, Compromise! Compromise! Compromise! You will be helping your child.
Make the Most of It!
This means take the necessary steps to ensure your child has a wonderful
holiday while keeping your sanity at the same time!