I spend the holidays with my ex and our son. Here’s what we plan on based on expert advice. – To world

  • This is the first year I’ll be parenting together on vacation after my ex and I split up.
  • We spend them together so our 8 year old son feels just as loved as he does.

Splitting up parental leave after a separation or divorce can be a delicate process. especially during the holidays.

This Christmas will be my first navigation through the Logistics from two separate households, and while the holidays will look a bit different from now on, that doesn’t mean I can’t fully embrace the Christmas spirit.

To make the transition easier for our 8 year old son, and Practice these growing up skills, my ex and I have decided to celebrate this year together – we want our son, above all, to feel that he is very much loved.

We put our differences aside to have some Christmas work together, as well as expert tips for child-friendly co-parenting during the holidays.

Make a plan and stick to it

Whether you spend the holidays together or separately, sticking to a plan is important.

When a child’s parents separate, everything that has been stable and consistent in their life is turned upside down – that’s why it’s so important to keep things as familiar as possible, said Avigail Lev, PsyD, a California-based Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Mediator. “A consensual divorce does not have a major negative impact on a child. It really benefits the child from being able to bargain fairly and being available and reliable, ”Lev said.

Make sure you understand what your vacation arrangements are and let your child know the plan well in advance, said Shari Bornstein, Lawyer specializing in marriage and family law Yaco’s law in New York. Also discuss whether you will buy gifts together or separately and who will be responsible for gifts from Santa Claus or teachers.

Make sure your child doesn’t feel any underlying resentment between you and your ex. Children won’t remember every little detail, but they will remember how they felt, Bornstein said. “So make sure they know they are loved and that you are setting an example of kindness, care, and compassion. And if possible, carry on with your holiday traditions, but also be flexible when you create new traditions, ”said Bornstein.

Focus on your child

Even if you split up, you will have the same opportunities to give your child anything they need, Lev said. “You will still be negotiating and exploring each other’s needs and trying to be fair and cooperative whether you are together or not how is more important than anything – sometimes the child is better off divorcing if you do it in a fair, structured, predictable, and safe way, ”she said.

Instead of making the vacation a competition to see who will spend the most on gifts or who has the biggest tree, focus on creating positive memories with your child. Children need to feel accepted and loved no matter what gift they like best or where they want to be, Lev said. “As long as it feels pretty much the same and stable on both sides, the child will feel safe and secure. But when a child has to choose between parents, it has a huge negative impact on their future relationships, ”she said.

After all, the holidays are about letting children be children. “This is such a magical time of year for her. You don’t want to feel like you have to make a decision, ”said Bornstein.

This year we will be spending Christmas Eve at my home and Christmas morning at my ex’s. His extended family will be visiting from abroad, which will increase the joy factor for our son. Most importantly, we agreed to review any remaining conflicts at the door. Our goal is to make sure that our son never has to choose between us.


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