Child-Centered Tips for Co-Parents to Avoid the Naughty List this Holiday Season

The holidays can be tough for families experiencing separation. We’re all human and conflict happens despite our best intentions. Keep these tips in mind to create a great holiday experience for the children so that they remember this special time with fondness.

1.  Be nice and flexible with the holiday schedule.

If you know your holiday plans with the kids are going to be different this year, discuss it with your co-parent well in advance as nobody likes last minute holiday changes If your co-parent wants to deviate from the schedule this year, don’t be naughty and say no without consideration. Think of the children and consider agreeing to the change if it’s in their best interest - the more flexible you are the more likely it will reciprocated later on.

2.  Be nice by offering to coordinate gifts.

As we all know, children love gifts and now that they're celebrating two separate Christmases, coordination is helpful. Some co-parents choose to split the list of gifts, and by doing so establish expectations and share the cost. Don’t be naughty and disparage your co-parent if they don’t want to do it, just try to remain positive and focus your energy on enjoying the holidays your way.

3. Be nice by sharing your children’s excitement. 

If the other parent gives a gift that you don’t approve of or is more expensive than yours, don’t be naughty and criticize the other parent. Share in your child’s excitement that they just got a great gift! They’re happy about the gift, not who gave it to them. Likewise, if they are excited about the gift that you gave them, don’t be naughty and demand that they leave the gift at YOUR house. Accommodate your child if they want to take your gift to the other parent’s house.

All of the above can be difficult when you are experiencing strong emotions.  Applying the these tips will go a long way in helping your children adapt to having two homes and enjoy this special time of year with you and the other parent.  You can do it!