Halloween has not yet arrived, but if you co-parent your children with an ex, it’s time to start thinking about your kids’ winter break. Other than summer break, winter break is the longest time away from school that most kids experience during the year. As such, this time of year tends to require some planning when children are moving between households.
Winter break tends to be a meaningful time that parents want to share with their kids and a logistical challenge as getting work done while children aren’t in school isn’t always a straightforward undertaking. As a result, being thoughtful about everyone’s needs and logistical concerns is important once you start planning for this year’s break.
There’s no question that co-parenting during winter holiday break requires careful planning, communication and a focus on your children’s well-being. How can you and your co-parent get started? Consider the following tips:
- Create a Detailed Schedule: Develop a clear schedule that includes specific dates and times for each adult’s parenting time, if one isn’t already detailed in your parenting plan. Be flexible and open to compromise to accommodate both families’ traditions and commitments when possible and appropriate.
- Communicate Openly: Maintain open and respectful communication with your co-parent. Discuss expectations, gift-giving and any concerns you may have about celebrations. Effective communication can help avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.
- Focus on the Children: Keep the children’s needs and best interests at the forefront of your decision-making. The holidays are a special time for them, and your efforts to create a harmonious and joyful experience will be appreciated, even if your kids can’t (or won’t) voice this appreciation explicitly and/or immediately.
Co-parenting during winter break can be a rewarding experience when approached proactively with empathy, cooperation and a shared commitment to your children’s happiness. By planning ahead, communicating effectively and prioritizing your children’s well-being, you can better ensure that you’ll create a memorable and enjoyable winter break and overall holiday season for your child and for the rest of your family as well.