Parenting / Family

Co-Parenting Through the Holidays: How to Cope When Your Kids are Away

gingerbread house

I still remember how sad I would get when it was time to part ways with my daughter on holidays. Chances are if you’re divorced, you’re going through the same thing. Although, we try to put on a cheery face on the outside, only prayer will cure us of the pain we feel on the inside. So pray about it, cheer up, and enjoy this holiday season!

Here’s a few ways you can enjoy the holiday season while enduring the pain of co-parenting…

1. Start New Traditions

If your parenting time doesn’t fall on the actual holiday, you can still enjoy the season. Start a new tradition together. Perhaps host a tree trimming party, a cookie exchange or a Christmas movie marathon. Open presents on Christmas Eve. Purchase an Elf on the Shelf. Or throw a New Year’s Day holiday shindig.

2. Show Goodwill to Your Ex

Split the time to ensure your child creates memories with both parents as well as extended family visiting over the holiday. Meet in the middle for pick up and drop off, accommodate work schedules and avoid arguments. If you have school aged children, don’t add anxiety to their lives and ask them to choose where they will spend the day. Create a co-parenting plan in advance and share the schedule. Even if your ex is acting frosty, suck it up, and go on your merry way!

Remember, your child may not speak up, but he/she sees how you interact with each other and picks up negative vibes.

3. Remember the Reason for the Season

Don’t compete with your ex and go on a shopping spree. If it’s your year off for Christmas, save some money and put less gifts under the tree. What you have leftover, you can put toward a winter getaway or staycation. Enjoy the quiet moments in front of the fireplace. Focus on what’s important. Plan special activities, like ice skating or sled riding.

4. Give to Others

Instead of being a Grinch, spread holiday cheer and give to those in need. Spearhead a toy drive, volunteer at a homeless shelter or visit residents at a nursing home. When you focus on the needs of others, your problems don’t seem big as you first thought. And when you occupy your time, you won’t wonder what your child is doing without you!

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