The Dos and Don’ts of Co-Parenting Over the Holidays


How to Give Your Child the Best Holiday with their Other Parent

The challenges of co-parenting are heightened during the holiday season. While the years when you have custody of your children are surely jolly, the years when your child’s other parent is entitled to spend the day with them can be difficult. However, it’s important to remember that despite the pain it may cause you, it’s an exciting opportunity for your child and co-parent. Read on for some steps you can take to ensure your child has the best holiday possible.

Do: Encourage Them to Have a Good Time

Your child will be happy to know that you are happy. Encourage them to enjoy their holiday; doing so can help alleviate their concerns or feelings of guilt over not being home with you. Show genuine excitement for your child and their opportunity to spend time with their other family.

Don’t: Tell Your Child How Much You Will Miss Them

Telling your child that you miss them may be well-intentioned, but it can impose a debilitating sense of responsibility on your child to make you and your co-parent happy. Give your child the gift of peace of mind this season by refraining from any statements that could make your child feel remorseful for being excited about their holiday plans.

Do: Make Plans to Celebrate Early or Late with Your Child

Just because you don’t have custody on the proper calendar day does not mean you are unable to celebrate the holiday with your child. Make plans to enjoy the season and the festivities either before or after their time with your co-parent. During your time together, you can resume your holiday traditions and festivities as if it were the actual date.

Don’t: Pry and Ask About Specific Details of their Holiday with their Other Family

While innocent inquiries are a way to show interest in your child, asking certain questions may make your child feel as though they are put in the middle of you and your co-parent, and as though your interest in the answer is rooted in the desire to know more about your co-parent rather than the experience of your child.

Wait for your child to initiate the conversation about the holidays and share details as they feel comfortable. Do not take this time to ask inappropriate questions such as who was there and what was said.

For more information on child custody and help with your particular case, contact the Law Offices of William L. Geary.

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