By Shayna R. Sanborn
We all have difficult and stressful situations to process. This year we have witnessed politicians behaving less than civilly and unfathomable terrorist activity here and abroad. It’s hard for adults to comprehend… just imagine what our youth are thinking!
With the holiday season upon us, we must demonstrate to our children what it means to be respectful, honorable, and civil. Show our children that even though we don’t always agree, we can still work together toward a common goal courteously. This is vitally important for families that are raising children in separate or divorced homes.
Adults may not be good partners or married persons, but they can be successful co-parents. The best gift to children from divorced homes is their parents getting along to create a peaceful and joyous holiday season. Here are some ways to make that happen:
- Be Flexible and Open Minded – Often family schedules don’t conform to court orders. If you can trust your child’s other parent to honor an agreement, and he/she has out of town family coming in during your possession period or work schedules conflicting with their possession time, keep an open mind to switch days, or trade a weekend. Make sure to memorialize that agreement in writing with an electronic signature or actual autograph by both parents.
- Communicate with the Other Parent – If possible, talk to your child’s other parent and coordinate gifts so that you don’t duplicate, and you agree with the amount of money or type of gifts you are giving your child.
- Focus on Giving with Your Child – If appropriate, encourage your child to do something nice for the other parent. Make a nice card or write a top ten list of the things that they like about the other parent, and maybe offer one of the items.
- Be Kind to Yourself – Co-parenting and sharing the holidays is not always easy. Be forgiving of yourself if it does not go exactly as planned. Take care of you as well.
The holiday season is a great time to start or continue to co-parent civilly and kindly.
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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.