Co-parenting Advice During Christmas

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Dear Sue I’m worried about Christmas as I’m recently divorced. My kids are still reeling from the changes. What is your advice? Liz Jackson, New Addington, Surrey

Most parents worry about this – so you’re not alone

The question most co-parent’s worry about is ‘Will I be able to see my children over the holiday period – or plan to have a holiday away or some simple fun time?’

Communication between separated parents is crucial even more than usual. It’s REALLY important to keep each other informed & to keep communication transparent & respectful.

Younger children will need you to ‘ talk & teach’ them that you are a TEAM & you need to show them that you can pull together

Older children should be included in conversations, too – as they are trying to adjust to this time of year & need to feel heard.

Everything you do as a co-parent, every choice you make should be in your child’s best interests – not yours.

Put a photo of your children on the centre of the table when you’re making decisions as it will focus you on what’s in their best interest.

Park up your past.

Park up your differences.

Park up being petty.

Your children need stability & routine & an atmosphere where they can relax

Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until things get tense – plan ahead & prepare. Talk to your ex about both of your plans

Christmas & the New Year can be a time of huge upheaval for children experiencing divorce & sharing time equally between you, so look for ways to minimise tension

Perhaps you could read a bedtime story over Zoom to your kids, cook together over FaceTime, chat on WhatsApp – be inventive & think out of the box.

Pick a regular time (and stick to it!) so you know that at a certain time of a certain day (or days) you connect with your kids.


Listen to your children’s worries & reassure their concerns – work together keeping the bigger picture for the short & long term benefit of your children. Use this time to play, dance, explore new hobbies & read great stories to your kids

Be upbeat, positive & patient.

This time brings opportunities too – like eating together, talking together & building happy memories that will last a lifetime in spite of the changes.

I hope that helps.

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