How can you avoid conflict over special occasions (like holidays or birthdays), when co-parenting after divorce?
I've seen thousands of families go through the many transitions associated with divorce and noticed two kinds of parenting styles. Reasonable and responsible or the exact opposite, unreasonable and irresponsible.
Know which style you naturally lean toward, and which approach the other parent or stepparent is likely to use before deciding how to plan for family interactions like the holidays. Here are some tips to help you focus on the memories of special days instead of the stress.
1) Unreasonable people don't understand reason-so save your breath.
Better to let a detailed email give information than to get into one more argument with someone who isn't listening.
2) Irresponsible people will break the rules-count on it.
Whatever it is that you have warned them not to do, say, spend or follow up on will not be done at all so give up on hoping that they will grow up.
3) Reasonable & Responsible people make the world a better place through healthy choices.
Count your blessings if you are co-parenting with someone who is respectful and disciplined and thank them for their commitment to making every day special in the lives of the children that you share together.