Throughout the year, divorced parents often have to work through the balance of keeping the peace, advocating for their rights and maintaining a child’s best interests. This can be a challenge even during typical periods, but during the holidays it can be a particularly trying time when it comes to child custody and co-parenting issues for West Virginia parents. Here are a few tips to make the season a bit less stressful when dealing with an ex.
Approach can make a big difference in how peaceful a conversation is. For example, making requests rather than demands is an approach experts often recommend. Wording an idea as a question, like “how do you feel about…” or “would you be okay with…” is often perceived as more respectful and courteous. This can lead to less emotional and more collaborative conversations, especially if there is a level of amicability between parents already.
Another piece of advice touted by experts is to stay flexible and embrace new traditions. Holding fast to the way things “used to be” or “should be” can be a recipe for conflict. Consider having a holiday meal or get-together on a different day than the official holiday if needed, for example. These might seem like big sacrifices at first, but over time they will lead to happier and less challenging holidays for parents and children alike.
The holidays are certainly rife with opportunities for conflict when it comes to child custody and co-parenting. However, it is also a time of year when kindnesses can be extended. Helping a child pick out a gift or card for their other parent or stepparent, for example, could be a small gesture that helps them feel more secure and supports amicable co-parenting. Should legal issues around custody or finances emerge around the holiday season, it is a good idea to involve a West Virginia lawyer to help resolve it in a way that keeps the child out of the middle.