How to Co-Parent on Birthdays, Holidays & Other Special Occasions

Co-parenting can present obstacles at any time of the year, but it tends to be especially difficult on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. Here are a few tips for how to approach your next big event:

  • Decide on a schedule ahead of time. Chances are good that your co-parenting schedule will already be laid out in your custody agreement. If it’s not, make a point to discuss arrangements with your ex-partner well before the big day. Some co-parents alternate holidays—for example, mom gets Thanksgiving and dad gets Christmas one year, then they switch the following year—while others split those days in half. If you get along well with your ex-partner, you could even try spending the days together.
  • Be flexible. While it’s generally important to stick to your time-sharing schedule, being flexible every once in a while can go a long way toward building a friendly co-parenting relationship. If you were supposed to have your child all day on Easter but your ex-mother-in-law is throwing a big family party that morning, consider letting your child attend. Your ex-partner may extend you the same generosity on future occasions.
  • Communicate as much as possible. As long as it’s healthy and safe for you to do so, try to stay in touch and update your ex-partner on your plans so that you’re both on the same page. That way, you’ll avoid snafus like having both co-parents purchase the same birthday gift.

Take the First Step Toward a Healthy Co-Parenting Relationship

Do you and your ex-partner often struggle to co-parent the child or children that you share? Our therapists know how difficult co-parenting can be—especially on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions—and we’ll draw on our many years of experience to provide you with helpful advice on how to approach this situation. Contact us today to schedule your first therapy session.