The Christmas Co-parenting Conundrum

13 November 2023

Whether you love Christmas or you’re a bit of a Grinch, the festive season is right around the corner! It should be a time for relaxing, gifts and lots of treats, but for separated parents, it can also be a bit of a headache. Figuring out childcare arrangements for the holidays can be tricky, especially if you and your ex-partner don’t exactly see eye to eye.

But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to make Christmas special for your kids, even if you’re not together.

Put your kids first

This is a big change for them, so try to be supportive and understanding. One way to help your child cope with these tough feelings is to create new traditions together. For example, Santa could visit at different times, you could bake some Christmas treats together or make some homemade presents for your child to gift to others. It’s important that although Christmas may look a bit different this year, you can still try to make it  special for your child or children.

Make your Plans Early

For things to run smoothly as possible, talk about your plans early and be willing to compromise. Things come up and Christmas is naturally a busy time, so try to be flexible with your ex-partner. Try to decide between you, what presents each of you will buy to avoid duplicate gifts.

Be creative.

Just because you’re separated doesn’t mean that you can’t both have a special Christmas with your children. There are many ways to be creative with your plans to suit everyone. For example, a common plan is to have a “split Christmas” where the kids spend Christmas morning with one parent and Christmas night with the other. Or, you could have a “double Christmas” where the kids celebrate with both parents on different days.

Look after yourself

Christmas can be a stressful time for separated parents, so make sure to take time for yourself. Do things that you enjoy and make time for relaxation. You deserve it! This will help you to stay calm and positive during the holiday period, especially when you haven’t got your children around.

Think about the arrangements and practicalities early

The sooner you have a plan in place, the better. This will help to avoid any conflict or confusion. Once you have a plan, try to present a united front to your children. Be positive about what’s going to happen and make any move between homes as calm and cheerful as possible. It’s also important to avoid talking negatively about your ex-partner in front of your kids or on social media.  It doesn’t so anyone any good. Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy!

At Tees Valley Mediation, we can help you with your Christmas arrangements. Our mediators can help you put together a plan so everyone can look forward to Christmas. Get in touch with us on 01429 869247 to learn how we can help you.

Changing Futures