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How to co-parent around the holidays

Many people feel the ramifications of a divorce long after getting out of court. For parents, that is no more evident than when they have to decide who the kids will spend the holidays with. 

The first Christmas or Hanukkah after a divorce can be tough, but as long as both parents remain open to compromise, everyone can get through this time with a great experience. The parents should always put the kids first and make sure they have a great time. 

Never make kids decide

Depending on the age of the child, the parents may feel it is best to allow him or her to decide who to spend the holidays with. However, this can put the child in an extremely uncomfortable situation. The parents should determine the best arrangement.

Learn to compromise

Neither parent should make big plans for the holiday season without consulting with the other parent first. It is paramount for both parties to sit down and talk about what would be best for the kids. One parent will probably not get everything he or she wants. However, both parents should get some amount of time to celebrate the end of the year with the kids. 

Start new traditions

This is a great tip for both parents. When the parents were still married, they probably held plenty of festive traditions. After a divorce, those traditions can become more painful than anything else. Both parents should create new traditions to share with the kids, especially if they are a bit older and most likely have fond memories of the old traditions. 

Build a support system

The parent who spends actual Christmas day without the kids may feel disheartened. However, if the former spouses sit down and develop a holiday plan well in advance, then the one who does not have the day can make alternate plans with family members or friends. He or she can use this time as an opportunity to connect with other people, even though the children are somewhere else. 

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