Now that the holidays are fast approaching, you may find yourself wondering how to co-parent your kids with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Your children are not babies, but they are not old enough to fully understand what separation means for your family. Though you and their other parent are living in separate households, working out your difficulties to create a feasible co-parenting/child visitation plan can help make things easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
You do not need to share the specifics of your divorce with your children. There are, however, things you can do to improve your chances of successful co-parenting during the holidays. Here are a couple suggestions.
Create a schedule
Children need support and structure, especially during and after their parents split. Regardless of their ages, you and your ex-spouse must provide the love and support they need to overcome any difficulties they may encounter while transitioning to living in two households. Make a schedule and stick with it. To do this, you may need to plan everything down to the hour or day.
Work on communication
Since you and your spouse share custody and parenting duties, it is essential for you to establish communication. If talking is not possible without arguments, communicate via email, text message and social media. All communication should focus on the children, their behaviors and valid parenting concerns. Disagreements are sure to rear up at times. Keep your cool, and remember that the only relationship that remains between you and your former spouse involves your kids. Children can sense when things are not right and pick up on environmental clues. Work on being a peacekeeper and learning how to avoid being goaded into senseless or irrelevant arguments.
When creating a co-parenting plan, you must take your children's developmental needs and milestones into consideration. You should also inform the other parent so you both can take the necessary adjustments and precautions to ensure your children's safety.