Home » The Dos and Don’ts of Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season

Co-parenting holidays

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness for many families. However, for co-parents navigating the complexities of shared custody and visitation schedules, it can also be a source of stress and tension. In this article, we will explore the dos and don’ts of co-parenting during the holiday season, offering practical advice and strategies to help make this time as harmonious as possible for everyone involved.

As we delve into this topic, it’s important to recognize that co-parenting during the holidays requires clear communication, flexibility, and focus on the children’s best interests. Wilson Dabler & Associates have extensive experience in family law and have witnessed firsthand both successful co-parenting dynamics and those fraught with conflict. By understanding their insights and recommendations on navigating this sensitive time of year, readers can gain valuable guidance on creating a peaceful and enjoyable holiday season for their children despite the challenges of co-parenting arrangements.

Dos of Co-Parenting During Holidays

During the holiday season, co-parenting can bring unique challenges and opportunities for creating special memories for your children. One important do of co-parenting during this time is to communicate openly and clearly with your ex-partner about your plans and expectations. By doing so, you can avoid misunderstandings and minimize potential conflicts, allowing both parents to fully enjoy their time with the children.

Another key do of co-parenting during the holidays is to prioritize the well-being of your children above any personal grievances or disagreements with your ex-partner. This means setting aside differences to create a harmonious and joyful experience for the kids. It’s important to remember that even though you may no longer be together as a couple, you are still a parenting team when it comes to making the holidays memorable for your children.

Don’ts of Co-Parenting During Holidays

The holiday season can be a challenging time for co-parenting, and several common mistakes can make it even more difficult. One of the most important don’ts of co-parenting during the holidays is don’t compete with your ex-spouse. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to outdo each other with gifts or extravagant plans, but this only creates tension and confusion for the children. Instead, focus on creating meaningful experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

Another crucial thing is not to involve the children in adult conflicts. As tempting as it may be to vent about your frustrations in front of your kids, doing so only adds stress and guilt to their holiday experience. Keep adult disagreements private and ensure that you’re presenting a united front when it comes to co-parenting during this special time of year. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can set a positive example for your children and create a harmonious holiday season despite the challenges of co-parenting.

Communication and Compromise

Effective co-parenting during the holiday season hinges on communication and compromise. By openly discussing plans, expectations, and concerns with your co-parent, you can avoid misunderstandings and reduce potential conflicts. However, it’s crucial to recognize that compromise doesn’t mean sacrificing your own needs or values. Instead, it involves finding common ground and demonstrating flexibility in scheduling, traditions, and gift-giving. Striking a balance between assertiveness and willingness to accommodate each other’s perspectives can lead to smoother co-parenting experiences during the holidays.

Effective communication and compromise don’t just benefit the parents; they also create a more harmonious environment for children. When kids witness their parents communicating respectfully and making compromises for their well-being, they feel more secure and are better able to enjoy the holiday season without feeling torn between conflicting loyalties. Ultimately, by embracing open dialogue and a spirit of cooperation, co-parents can foster an atmosphere of mutual respect that enriches their children’s experiences during this special time of year.

Creating New Traditions Together

Creating new traditions together can be an enriching experience for co-parents during the holiday season. Instead of dwelling on the past and old routines, embracing the opportunity to establish fresh customs can foster a sense of unity and excitement for both parents and children. Whether it’s cooking a special meal, going on a holiday outing, or even starting a volunteer tradition, co-parents have the chance to create lasting memories that are unique to their family dynamic.

This process lends itself to exploration and collaboration, as both parents can bring their individual ideas and values to the table. By openly communicating and being receptive to each other’s suggestions, co-parents can lay down the foundation for meaningful traditions that honor both their past experiences and future aspirations. Embracing this creative aspect of co-parenting not only cultivates a sense of cooperation but also promotes adaptability which is essential in creating a harmonious environment during the holidays.

Supporting Your Children’s Emotions

Supporting your children’s emotions during the holiday season is essential for their well-being. It’s normal for kids to feel a range of emotions during this time, from excitement and joy to anxiety and sadness. As parents, it’s crucial to create a safe space for them to express themselves without judgment. Encouraging open communication about their feelings can help them navigate the ups and downs of the holiday season with greater ease.

It’s important to remember that our own emotions as parents can influence how we support our children. Modeling healthy emotional expression and coping mechanisms can positively impact how our children manage their feelings. Additionally, validating their experiences and offering empathy can go a long way in helping them feel understood and supported. By acknowledging and respecting their emotions, we empower them to develop healthy emotional intelligence that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C.

14 South Second Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Satellite Office (by appointment only)
216 North Market Street
Waterloo, IL 62298


Contact Us

Fax- 618-235-1617




Office Hours

8:30am-5pm Monday-Thursday
8:30am-4pm on Fridays
Closed for lunch from Noon-1pm
After Hours Appointments Available