Parents sharing custody in Wisconsin will have many practical and emotional challenges in the upcoming years. Simply sharing parental responsibilities on a day-to-day basis can be stressful.
When you elevate the tension by adding special events into the mix, the risk of conflict and miserable family experiences increases. As a parent with minor children, you want the holidays to be memorable. Unfortunately, children in shared custody arrangements may remember certain holiday seasons not because they were enjoyable and exciting but rather because of how stressful and unpleasant they were.
What are some of the common co-parenting mistakes that could make the holiday season very unpleasant for your children?
Fighting with one another
If you have a custody exchange on a holiday or immediately before the holidays, an argument could easily arise as emotions are usually heightened as people prepare for family celebrations. If the children have to witness a fight between their parents or the emotional aftermath of one, it could dampen their enjoyment of the entire celebration.
Competing with one another
If you have the children on Christmas Eve and your ex has them on Christmas Day, you might try to implement new traditions that make your day with the children extra special. You might spend far more than you usually would on gifts or plan a vacation when you usually stay home for the holidays.
When parents compete with one another because of the upcoming holidays, they may become so focused on feeling like they won that they don’t think about what their children will actually feel about the situation.
Not coordinating with one another
For the holidays to go off without a hitch, a lot of planning is necessary. You need to involve your ex in that process to make your custody exchanges smooth. You also need to think about coordinating gifts with your ex. Instead of both of you trying to outspend the other and buying the children unnecessary presents or possibly duplicating one another’s gifts, you can communicate with one another regarding celebrations and gift giving so that the children have a very positive experience.
Addressing and planning ahead for challenges that the holidays create for shared custody arrangements will help you give the children a great holiday season.