Things get messy when you and your ex are splitting duties during the holidays. After divorce, tension is usually high then add the scheduling, planning, and stress of the holidays, and it would only take one snide remark to blow everything wide open.
The key to survival is to put aside your differences and simply embrace the spirit of the season by making small and simple thoughtful gestures. While this may sound like something out of a corny Christmas movie, the proof is in the pudding. This Holiday season try these 5 simple tips to not only survive the holiday season, but enjoy it too!
1. Apologize or use humor to lighten difficult situations.
~For example if one parent forgot the other parent was hosting a gathering and he or she forgot and took the children somewhere else. Instead of having an all out brawl, apologize and offer another weekend. Even in the event of a mess up, making a peace offering can go a long way in easing anxiety during the holidays.
2. Offer time.
~Most people have legal documents that generally outline who gets the children for specific holidays, but it doesn't hurt to offer the other parent some additional time. Sometimes, it hard to see the bigger picture in these situations, as people tend to fight for more time, not giving it away, but life will not crumble if you don't have your child on one holiday.
3. Find ways to include the other parent on certain holiday moments.
~Unless your planning on forcing your child to do everything twice, like seeing Santa, or decorating the tree, there are some events one parents may miss out on. Sending a simple picture to the other parent to let them know you and the children are thinking on them could mean a great deal!
4. Thoughtful gifts for the other parent.
~It's important for kids emotionally to see that parents can get along. Buy the other parent a present or have the kids make them something for the holiday.
5. Including a new significant other.
~This one we saved for last because it is the most difficult. But it is a reality of life, and if someone new is going to be a part of your life or your ex's life, it's important to include them in these types of events. Excluding a new significant other from events like school pageants, or church services could send the wrong message to the child. There should absolutely be boundaries in place, and all parties need to be on the same page, but having another person who wants to love and care for your child is not a bad thing to have around.
Being able to co exist during the season will take some compromise, but if your both willing to give, your family can have the happiest of holidays this year!