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Preparing to co-parent during the holidays

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Child Custody

Parents in California often look forward to providing fun, memorable times for their children during the holidays. However, if they are not in a romantic relationship and are co-parenting, they must make clear plans to avoid tension and conflict that can affect their children during this time.

Focus on your children

There are many ways you can focus on the children during the holidays instead of the issues that you and their co-parent might have. For example, you might begin by coordinating with your co-parent on what each of you will gift the child or by deciding to buy a more expensive present jointly. You will want to avoid competition between you and your co-parent, as the holidays should not be about one parent being perceived as better than the other. Some of the other ways you can focus on your children include:

  • Creating new holiday traditions between for you and your children
  • Helping your children choose small gifts for each other to pass on the spirit of giving
  • Planning new celebrations during the holidays around the traditional dates so you can enjoy your time together even when you do not spend it on the official holiday

Plan for the holidays

Some parents might have a holiday parenting plan included in their child custody order. In that case, that is what should be followed during this time. Other parents, however, might need to create a new holiday parenting time, including a new schedule, as the children will be off from school, and relatives from out of town might visit either parent’s family. Parents should give themselves enough time to plan to avoid surprises that might cause disagreements.

Finally, you should not forget yourself during this time. Your children should also see you enjoying the holidays. While you might feel sad when you have to give up an important date every other year, you should do things you enjoy, such as visiting with friends and family and relaxing.