top of page

Navigating Holidays After Divorce: A Guide to Healthy Co-Parenting

Navigating Holidays After Divorce: A Guide to Healthy Co-Parenting

The holiday season, whether you are in the midst of a divorce or it happened years ago, can pose emotional and logistical challenges for both parents and children. Balancing celebrations with both parents and their extended families can be overwhelming. In this guide, we provide valuable insights and a list of Do's and Don'ts to help you co-parent through the holidays after divorce seamlessly.


Make the Time Hectic

Avoid unnecessary stress by considering alternating holiday celebrations each year. This approach minimizes emotional transitions for children, providing them with a more relaxed and enjoyable holiday experience. For instance, plan a full day of celebration with one parent and schedule a "bonus" celebration with the other on a different day.

Compete with Your Ex

Instead of competing for the best gifts or meals, strive to collaborate with your ex to create the best holiday experience for your child. Jointly giving gifts sends a positive message of cooperation, fostering a healthy environment for the children.

Create Loyalty Conflicts

Avoid putting your child in a position where they feel torn between parents. Foster an environment where your child feels free to love and spend time with both parents. Be flexible in creating a fair schedule with your co-parent, ensuring your child doesn't feel pressured to choose sides.

Share Negative Feelings with Your Child

While it's natural to feel sad when your child is not with you during the holidays, refrain from burdening them with your emotions. Seek support from friends and family, allowing your child to enjoy their time without guilt.


Have a Self-Care Plan

Prioritize your well-being by creating a self-care plan. Identify activities that alleviate stress and bring joy, such as spending time with family, taking a trip, or indulging in a personal treat. This self-care routine ensures you are emotionally available for your child without relying on them for your happiness.

Create New Traditions

Embrace the opportunity to create new holiday traditions. While preserving aspects of your past, introduce fresh rituals that align with this new chapter of your life. Get creative, involve family and friends, volunteer in the community – the goal is to make new memories and look forward to exciting experiences together.

Prioritize Children's Needs

Despite personal desires, always prioritize your children's needs and wants during the holidays. Making choices with their best interests in mind may require compromises, but the long-term benefits are invaluable.

Seeking Professional Support

Navigating the holidays after divorce requires thoughtful consideration and proactive efforts. By following these Do's and Don'ts, prioritizing your child's needs, and embracing new traditions, you can create a positive and rewarding co-parenting experience. If you find it challenging to establish healthy co-parenting dynamics or your children are struggling to adjust to the divorce, consider seeking help from a therapist with expertise in family systems. The Hellenic Therapy Center, located at 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ, offers licensed professionals available throughout the week. Visit, or contact 908-322-0112 for further information.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page