If you are reading this, then chances are that this is your first Christmas as a divorced or separated parent and co-parenting, as it stands can be quite tricky at the best of times.
Here are some tips that will help in co-parenting over Christmas:
- Make the arrangements together, i.e. you and your ex, whenever possible. Whatever plans you have for your little ones, let the other person know. It makes it easier, not only you, but more importantly for the children because they will know what is happening when, where and how. This gives them a sense of security.
- You both can have a celebration with your children during the time that they are with you. What do I mean by this? Well, if the children are with you on Christmas day for example, it’s easy for you to do all the Christmasy stuff that you usually do or create your your own Christmas rituals if need be. If, on the other hand, you are the parent who isn’t with the children on the 25th, then you can still do the Christmasy things. I don’t think there are any Christmas police out there…yet:-)
- Do respect the time that your ex has with the children. That is their time and you will have your time. Don’t call them every 5 minutes to make sure that all is well or ask how the children are doing as this may just cause a lot of unnecessary frustration and bother for you both.
- This is really not the time to introduce your new partner. Holidays are usually emotional anyway, divorce increases that emotions then to add a new partner to the mix might work for you but not for your children. Do chose another time.
- Realise that they will miss the other parent and might actually be concerned about the parent “left behind”. You might find that your children want to call mummy/daddy over the holidays for whatever reason and it’s good to realise that it’s not about you, but about them and their emotions. Let them call.
Holidays are here to stay and so is your divorce – understand that, accept that and allow your children to have fun, relax and enjoy.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org