The holidays are a stressful time of year for many people. For divorced couples, they can be even more harrowing when it comes to figuring out co-parenting schedules. Whether your divorce was amicable or contentious, chances are you’re struggling with scheduling and other issues. U.S. News & World Report offers the following tips on how to navigate the process successfully.
From a practical perspective, a schedule should be in place well before the holidays actually arrive. Sit down with your ex and work through the details, including who will get your child for each holiday, how travel will be coordinated, what you can do if any issues arise. When you have a plan in place at the outset, the less stressful the process will be. Also, once your plan is established, make sure your kids are well aware of what to expect. This will ease any anxiety or trepidation they have about the holidays.
Developing a holiday co-parenting plan with your ex is often easier said than done. During the process, keep the best interests of the children in mind. While you naturally want your children with you during the holidays, you shouldn’t get in the way of quality time spent with the other parent. If you’re feeling frustrated or sad about the prospect of not spending time with your kids during a particular holiday, don’t hesitate to speak with friends, family, or even a therapist about the issue.
Finally, when your kids return from an excursion with your ex, be careful about the types of questions you ask. It’s OK to be curious and genuinely inquire about what they did while away. If the purpose of asking questions is to access information about your ex, including who he or she is dating, it’s best to keep them to yourself.