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Co-Parenting Etiquette to Navigate Holiday Parties and Events

Navigating holiday parties and events can be a stressful experience for divorced or separated parents with children.

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Navigating holiday parties and events can be a stressful experience for divorced or separated parents with children. While attending holiday gatherings with your ex may be uncomfortable, putting your children first and creating a positive atmosphere for everyone involved is essential. 

What’s the etiquette for holiday events and gatherings when you’re dealing with new family dynamics? Let’s discuss etiquette and tips for co-parents attending holiday events together, focusing on creating a positive atmosphere for their children, themselves and extended family members.

What’s the Etiquette for Divorced or Separated Couples With Children for the Holidays?

The simple truth is there’s no etiquette – or “set of rules or customs that control accepted behavior in particular social groups or social situations,” as the Cambridge dictionary would say. The reason is every family dynamic is so unique that a standard set of rules can’t accommodate all the various ways families come together.

If there were a set of rules that families of divorce or separation could use to guide their holiday planning, it would be that whatever you choose to do should be for the children. This means that you and your ex-partner may need to spend hours together at a family function for the holiday because that’s best for the children. Focusing on the kids and not arguing or having emotional discussions with your ex is considered the best way to participate in a holiday gathering. Your children will appreciate the positive memories as well.

Tips for Creating a Positive Atmosphere for Your Children at Holiday Events with Your Ex

Let’s review tactics that help every family experiencing divorce or separation.

1. Communicate with your ex-partner beforehand: Discuss any potential issues or sensitive topics that may arise during the event. You can also establish boundaries and agree on how to handle any challenging situations that may occur. 

2. Communicate respectfully and honestly. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a comfortable and positive environment for your children and extended family members.

You’re free to choose the method of communication, whether it’s a phone call, video chat, texting, email or in person, that will facilitate the best possible outcome, depending on the nature of your relationship with your ex.

3. Put your children first: When attending any holiday event, focusing on your children’s needs before everything else is important. Make sure they feel comfortable and included in all activities.

4. Don’t argue: Avoid arguing or discussing any sensitive topics in front of your children. Instead, create a pleasant environment where everyone can enjoy the holiday festivities. Remind your children that they’re the priority. You and your ex want them to have a positive experience!

5. Be respectful to all family members: One of the challenges of attending holiday events with your ex-partner is interacting with family members who may have chosen sides during the separation. It’s vital to treat all family members with respect and kindness. Avoid discussing the separation or airing any grievances in front of extended family members. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of the holiday celebration and enjoy spending time with your family and friends.

6. Create new traditions: Lastly, consider creating new traditions with your children and ex-partner during the holiday season. Traditions can include baking holiday cookies, having a family game night, or even taking a family outing to see holiday lights. This will help your children adjust to the separation and create positive memories they’ll cherish.

Participating in Holiday Events With Your Co-Parent Can Reap Many Positive Benefits

Co-parenting during the holiday season can be challenging, but try to focus on putting your children first and create a positive atmosphere for everyone involved. Communicate openly and respectfully with your ex, put your children’s needs first, be respectful to all family members, and consider creating new traditions. Remember, the ultimate goal is to ensure your children have a pleasant holiday experience and create positive memories with both parents and extended family members.

Contact the Experienced Family Law Attorneys at Smedley Law Group, P.C. in Woodbury, NJ Today

If you’re thinking about filing for divorce, you’ll also most likely be dealing with another matter like child custody, child support, or division of assets, so you’ll need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Smedley Law Group, P.C. represent clients throughout the state, including West Deptford, Woodbury Heights, Runnemede, and Westville. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 251-0800 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 750 Cooper Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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