All we want for Christmas is a conflict-free co-parenting set-up! Right? Co-parenting is never easy, but it can feel impossible during the holiday season. However, with the right mindset and approach, it is possible to make the festive season special for your children while co-parenting. Here are some tips to help you co-parent at Christmas time.
If you’re approaching the festive season and you’re stressed about the prospect of co-parenting at Christmas, remember you’re not alone. There are thousands and thousands of others out there doing exactly the same thing, and they’re probably feeling the same stresses and pressures as you are. You can connect with them on the Frolo App. Check out the co-parenting group chat to feel instantly less alone and seek help and advice from others in your position.
Planning ahead is essential when co-parenting at Christmas. You and your ex-partner should discuss your plans for the holidays well in advance to avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts. Decide on a schedule that works for both of you and your children. If you are able to, be flexible and willing to compromise if necessary. If communication is strained, consider sticking to your usual arrangements over the festive period to keep things completely separate but consistent for the kids.
Remember that the holidays are about your children, not you or your ex-partner. Put your children's needs and happiness first if you are able to. Avoid arguing or discussing sensitive topics in front of your children. Instead, focus on creating happy memories and traditions that your children will cherish. But in all of this, remember to look after yourself too, so if you need to discuss the issues you’re having, make sure you have trusted friends or family members that you can lean on for support.
Effective communication is key to successful co-parenting. Keep your ex-partner informed about your plans and any changes that may arise. Use a co-parenting app or tool to help you communicate effectively and avoid misunderstandings if tensions are high, or consider communicating through a third party such as a grandparent or mutual friend if needed.
Be willing to be flexible and make adjustments to your plans if necessary. Unexpected events may arise, and you may need to change your plans at the last minute. Be open to compromise and work together to find a solution that works for everyone. Remember that flexibility works both ways, so set boundaries and expect your co-parent to do the same!
Creating new traditions can help you and your children adjust to the changes that come with co-parenting. Consider starting a new tradition that you and your children can enjoy together. This might be a Christmas Eve routine for you and your kids if you have the time together, a Christmas morning movie and cuddle in bed, biscuits for tea or a Boxing Day disco. Come up with ideas together and create your own special routines that are just yours.
Focus on the positive aspects of co-parenting at Christmas. Remember that you and your ex are working together to create a happy festive season for your children. Celebrate your successes and focus on the good times you have shared. And remember that you won’t get it right the first time around: give yourself space to improve and learn from what goes well or badly for next year!
Finally, remember to take care of yourself during the holiday season. Co-parenting can be stressful, and it's important to take time for yourself to relax and recharge. Make time for self-care activities that you enjoy, whether it’s a blow-out night on the town with friends while the kids are with their other parent, or an early night and 12 hours sleep with no interruptions.
Wishing you (and your ex) a very merry Christmas from all of us at Frolo!
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