Christmas and New Year’s Day are fast approaching. Hanukkah ends on Friday, Dec. 18. Most likely, your children have some time off from school over the next couple weeks. If you coparent with your ex, you may have set up how your children will split time over the holidays.
Yet, if you still need to work out your holiday coparenting schedule, or have other holiday-related decisions to make about your kids, here are 5 coparenting tips for the holidays:
- If you haven’t already, set up a holiday schedule for the days your kids won’t have school. Perhaps, you will have your children on Christmas Eve and your spouse will have them for Christmas this year. You could switch so next year you have the children on Christmas Day. You also should keep in mind if you or ex has special religious or extended family celebrations that they will take part of with the children in this time.
- Check in with your ex about what Christmas gifts your child will receive. Will you decide with your ex what to buy beforehand so your child doesn’t receive repeat gifts? If your child is older and really wants the latest video game system or a computer tablet, will you and your ex both contribute toward the cost?
- Start some new traditions and keep old ones if you can. Children like to have traditions to celebrate during the holidays. So, if you’ve done a family cookie baking day in the past, see if your kids want to do that again. If they seem hesitant about going tree shopping at the local tree farm, because Dad always cut down the tree, maybe buy a tree on your own and let them choose a theme to decorate the tree around.
- Give yourself some downtime to relax and practice self-care. You may struggle with your emotions about not having your children with you for every special holiday moment. Make sure to allow yourself some special time for yourself – to just relax, have a warm beverage and enjoy a holiday movie or take an evening drive to see some holiday lights.
- Schedule time with close friends and family members if you will be on your own on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. You want to feel support at the times you might feel most lonely over the holidays.
Coparenting and timesharing during the holidays can be stressful. Keep in mind, though, that ultimately you want your children to have special memories – with both their parents. If you focus on spending quality time with your children, not harboring resentment for having to share holiday time with your ex, you will more likely have a happier holiday season.