Christmas is a time of celebration and joy, but it can also be a source of anxiety and stress for many people, especially those who have gone through a breakup. How can you navigate this festive season with your ex and your children, without compromising your own happiness and well-being? The following are four (4) tips to help you cope with this challenging situation.
- Be civil and respectful. Even if you have a difficult relationship with your ex, try to be courteous and polite when you interact with them during the holidays. Don’t argue or fight in front of the children or badmouth your ex to them or others. Don’t use the holidays as an opportunity to score points or get revenge on your ex, but rather as a chance to co-parent cooperatively and peacefully. Remember that you are both doing your best for your children, and that they need both of you in their lives.
- Focus on the children. Remember that Christmas is a special time for your kids, and they deserve to enjoy it with both of their parents. Don’t put them in the middle of your disputes or make them feel guilty for wanting to see their other parent. Instead, encourage them to express their feelings and needs, and reassure them that you love them unconditionally. Make sure they have enough attention and time from both of you and try to create some new memories and traditions with them.
- Plan ahead. Communicate with your ex about the arrangements for the holidays, such as when and where the children will spend time with each parent, what gifts they will receive, and how to manage any potential conflicts. Try to be flexible and respectful of each other’s wishes, but also set clear boundaries and expectations. Avoid making last-minute changes or surprises that could cause confusion or resentment.
- Take care of yourself. Dealing with your ex during the holidays can be emotionally draining and stressful, so don’t neglect your own needs and well-being. Find some time to relax and do things that make you happy, such as reading a book, spending time with friends, or watching a movie. Seek support from people who understand what you are going through, such as family members, friends, or a therapist. Don’t dwell on the past or isolate yourself but focus on the present and the future.