Juggling pick-ups and drop-offs and setting a parenting schedule with an ex or soon-to-be-ex spouse can be challenging any time of year. However, the holiday season, is often the most contentious time of year.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind to help keep the holidays drama-free:
- Keep it about the kids. Don’t talk about your ex negatively or ask the children what they did or where they went with the other parent during his or her parenting time. If the kids want to discuss it, they will let you know. Focus on making it a great day that your children will enjoy.
- Be specific about the drop-off and pick-up times: who, where, and at what times. For example, if you need him to pick up the children from your mother’s house (that is an hour away from your home), communicate that in advance.
- Be flexible. If church runs late or the kids oversleep and your parenting time starts a little late, let it go. It’s not worth upsetting the children. That’s not a good holiday memory. It’s about the kids. Unless there’s a serious threat of harm, do not call the police
- Don’t compete with your ex when it comes to gift-giving and don’t give a gift that will incite an argument. Set a price limit with your ex so one parent does not try to “out do” the other. If you question whether or not the gift you are giving the child is appropriate (e.g. a $700.00 phone to a 10 year-old) discuss it with your ex first or do not give it at all.
We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season with your family!