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Holiday Tips for Divorced Co-Parents

 Posted on December 09, 2015 in Child Custody

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody lawyer,If you are a co-parent, you may be nervous about the upcoming holiday season. Will you and your ex be able to get along? Will you be alright without the kids on Christmas this year? Will the children be upset that both parents are not spending to holidays together with them? The list of worries can be large and overwhelming. Co-parenting after divorce is challenging enough, so adding the stress and expectations of holidays into the mix can be tough. As the holidays arrive, here are a few tips that can help you prepare for handling holidays as a co-parent.

Review Your Agreed upon Child Plan

During your divorce, you and your ex likely mapped out who will get to be with the children over holidays. With the holidays quickly approaching, now is a good time to review your agreed upon parenting plan, and figure out where the kids are supposed to be. Once you have reviewed your agreement, make a plan. Create a holiday schedule that lays out which days and times the kids are with each parent. A clear schedule will help relieve any anxiety or tension, for both you and your children, and can help make transitions between households run more smoothly. Your children may be wondering where they will be and when, so being able to show them a holiday schedule will provide them with peace of mind.

Be Flexible and Positive

If this is the year your children are with your ex over Christmas, you may be feeling upset. Being without your children on a major, family related holiday can be a tough pill to swallow. Do your best to remain positive. Consider inviting friends or other family members over to celebrate the holiday. Show your children that even though your family dynamic has changed, the holidays are still a time of love and joy.

If missing Christmas with your children is a big deal to you, consider having your own celebration with your children on another date. If the kids are with your ex on December 25th, you and your children can open presents and celebrate on the 24th or the 26th. No child has ever complained about opening two rounds of presents. Being flexible about the specific date can allow everyone involved to have an enjoyable holiday.

Avoid Conflict with Your Ex

Remember that your children are the most important piece in all of this. Do your best to maintain the joyous attitude of the season by avoiding conflict with your ex. While being kind may be out of the question, especially right after a difficult divorce, you can certainly be civil for the kids sake. Remind yourself that no matter how difficult, your ex deserves time with your children too, and your children deserve to spend quality time with both parents.

Also, avoid badmouthing your ex in front of your children. This can make children feel guilty about spending time with one parent over another. No matter what the conflict may be between you and your ex, your children deserve a guilt free holiday season, so keeping your feelings to yourself is important.

Take Care of Yourself

Taking good care of yourself through difficult times will help improve your mood. Be sure to eat healthily, exercise, and make sure you are getting enough rest. Call on the support of friends and family if you need an extra emotional boost. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Also be leery of alcohol over the holidays. People tend to imbibe a little too much during family holidays, and while drinking in moderation is perfectly acceptable, avoid using alcohol as a way to numb your feelings.

Celebrating holidays as co-parent can be tough, but as time goes on, things will become easier. New traditions will form, your co-parenting schedule will become easier to work out, and you and your ex will hopefully build an amicable relationship with each other. For now, any of the tips above will make the upcoming holidays a bit easier.

If you are currently facing a divorce, or curious about your options, a qualified Wheaton divorce attorney is available to speak with you today. Contact the offices of Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC at 630-665-2500 to get started with an attorney.

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