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How co-parents can keep the peace this holiday season

After divorce, parents may seek to come together to develop a co-parenting agreement. These co-parenting agreements allow both spouses to remain involved in their children's lives.

While there may be some awkwardness at first, parents that work together to foster a collaborative parenting environment can be beneficial for their kids. Studies have found that children with parents that have a co-parenting agreement in place have less anxiety and greater emotional wellbeing.

While there are some stressors managing a co-parenting agreement from day to day, those stressors become amplified during the holiday season. Taking these actions can help you avoid an argument with your ex-spouse and make the holidays more joyful for you and your children.

Discuss arrangements as soon as possible

One reason that disagreements can escalate into full-blown arguments is that couples delay discussing holiday agreements until the last minute. Instead, proactively reach out to your ex-spouse to begin discussing how you will divide parenting time.

If you live close to each other, the split can be relatively easy to accomplish. For spouses that live farther from each other, you may opt to each choose a holiday that your children will spend with you. For instance, you may have your children spend Thanksgiving with your family while your spouse will have the kids for Christmas.

Avoid feeling negative emotions

Going through a divorce can evoke many negative emotions in both spouses. These emotions can persist after the divorce process has ended. It is important to not let these emotions get the best of you when interacting with your spouse. Feeling anger or resentment toward your ex-spouse will only make your future interactions more adversarial. If you are feeling frustrated, take some deep breaths to help you begin to feel more relaxed.

Work together with your ex-spouse

At the end of the day, you and your ex-spouse are a team. You both have the best interests of your child in mind, and it is that idea that should provide the foundation for the co-parenting decisions that you make. Having a constructive relationship where both you and your ex-spouse are working together will providing lasting benefits to your children.

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