Co-Parenting Successfully through the Holiday Season: 4 Tips to Consider

Fall has arrived and so too has the holiday season.  This is generally a time for families to come together; to be joyful and thankful and to celebrate with kindness and love.  But for many divorced families, the holidays can be a stressful and challenging time.  “I love Halloween, but I can’t stand sharing it with my ex-husband” and “I don’t like that my kids hate going to their father’s for Thanksgiving, but what can I do, this is his year” and “Great, so now I am supposed to put a smile on my face for the kids with my ex-wife’s new boyfriend at Christmas” are just a few of the comments stated by some my divorced patients already this year. And while I fully appreciate the difficult struggles many divorced couples deal with, I encourage my divorced patients who remain in high conflict co-parenting relationships to remember that their children’s adjustment and emotional wellbeing should be what is most important – and not just during holidays, but across the entire year. I offer the following tips for co-parenting successfully to divorced couples this holiday season: Know your bandwidth:  If you are currently in a high conflict relationship with your ex-husband or ex-wife, your capacity to get along over the holidays will be more limited than if you are in a respectful and loving relationship with your ex.  While some divorced couples are able to trick-or-treat together with their children or trade off mid night on Halloween, other divorced couples do not have enough respect and agreement to do so.  Holidays for this latter group are typically best managed separately...