Michelle Petersen, local mom and blogger shared her expertise when it comes to navigating co-parenting during the holidays. Co-parenting is a post-divorce parenting arrangement where both parents continue to jointly participate in their children’s upbringing and activities. If you’re in a situation where you can safely be around/work with your ex spouse, co-parenting is a great post-divorce choice because it helps children and parents cope with life after divorce especially during the holiday season.
How to co-parent during the holidays:
- Split holidays-parents take turns alternating who has the kids during specific holidays (i.e. mom gets the kids on Thanksgiving and dad gets the kids on Christmas and then next year, the holidays are flipped). If you’re worried about not being able to celebrate a particular holiday with your kids you can always celebrate with them before or after the upcoming holiday they won’t be with you.
- Split the hours of each holiday (i.e. mom gets the kids on Thanksgiving during the day while dad gets the kids on Thanksgiving during the evening). This way the kids get to spend time with each parent during the holidays.
- Celebrate holidays together (this is what my ex and I are currently trying to navigate). This can seem hard to do, but families that can commit to this type of arrangement usually find it the most enjoyable for the children. If choosing to do this option, the true key to its success will be the parents mutually agreeing to act like ‘grown-ups’. If this can’t be done, and an environment of hostility will be inevitable, then it is better go with one of the other options. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you go with the option that will make each holiday the most enjoyable for the kids, because that’s what matters most.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the holidays, make sure to plan ahead, especially because the holidays are already stressful enough as is. Doing this will better ensure that no matter what happens, this time of year will be one that you and your kids look back on with happiness instead of sadness.