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Co-parenting at Christmas – Do’s and Don’ts

Written by Jana Angeles 

Being newly divorced before the holidays is not fun. Having to learn and overcome different challenges brings a toll to us parents, but unfortunately some things don’t go as planned. It’s important to remember that Christmas is a time to celebrate with your kids and we must keep their kindred spirits high during this season. Even if you know you won’t get along with your ex, it’s essential to make fair arrangements between the two of you.  

Ensure that you communicate effectively and reach to a compromise. Most of all, don’t take out your anger or hate on each other this time of year. Being responsible and mature about your decisions will result in a Christmas time your kids will enjoy. So, what do’s and don’ts do you need to keep in mind when it comes to co-parenting during Christmas? 

DO 

Communicate with Each Other 

This is key to everything. Even if you’ve ended your relationship on a bad note, having effective communication is vital when it comes to your Christmas plans. Whether it’s through email, text or call, being able to communicate is the only way to understand each other’s own plans with the kids. You need to do this in order for co-parenting to work.  

Split Days Evenly 

Organising how Christmas is spent needs to be arranged efficiently. Nominate between yourselves either to keep the kids during the morning or afternoon on Christmas Day. If you are planning on going away during Christmas, talk to your ex-partner to see if you can arrange a week-split in looking after the kids. You can also discuss whether it’s fine to celebrate Christmas a week early if your schedules just work better that way.  

Coordinate Gifts 

Discuss with them what gifts you’ll be getting the kids in case of any double ups. It’s important to do this so you don’t waste money or time if you do end up gifting the same thing. If your children have gift wish lists, work together and pick the things you want to purchase and let your ex-partner do the same. 

DON’T 

Tell Each Other How You Should Celebrate 

So, you may have the perfect idea when it comes to celebrating Christmas and want to tell your ex-partner that they should stick with your idea. However, this is not the best as they probably have limited options in terms of budget and time. As long as they are spending some quality time with the kids, nothing else should matter. You both shouldn’t be telling each other what to do in the first place.  

Show Each Other Disrespect 

You may be angry at one another and are not in a compatible state right now. We understand that any type of separation takes a toll on the family, but be mindful that your actions have consequences. The best thing you can do is remain civil with each other and keep your problems out of the way when it comes to celebrating Christmas with your children. Being upset with each other isn’t the right way to go about it and it’s certainly not right to disrespect each other during a time where everything is supposed to be relaxing and joyous.   

Be Inflexible 

Being inflexible will only cause more problems for the both of you. Unless you both reach a compromise and have some set out plans, you need to be understanding of each other’s circumstances. Your ex-partner may not be in a good financial place or have had to make other arrangements during the Christmas period. It’s important to have some understanding and trust. Being flexible about each person’s needs is the only way to come up with effective solutions, so be honest with each other if you need to be! 

We understand that co-parenting isn’t an ideal way for the holidays, but in order to make things work, you and your ex-partner need to put your differences aside and prioritise what’s best for your children. Remember that you are responsible in creating an environment of joy, so it’s up to you on how you will run things on your end. If you communicate effectively, be flexible and compromise with each other, co-parenting during Christmas won’t be so bad. 

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