Co-Parenting Tips for Valentine's Day

A good parenting agreement is worth its weight in gold. Approximately, 33% of kids in America live with a single parent, and that can be incredibly tough on all ends. If you’re going through a divorce and are loving parents, your Michigan divorce attorney has probably suggested co-parenting. Co-parenting is one of the best options but it’s challenging every day of the year. Those challenges tend to multiply, however, on or around holidays. Fortunately, there are some effective tips for co-parenting on Valentine’s Day.

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

Clarify, Don’t Assume
When it comes to your kids, you have a right to know about your ex’s plans for various events and holidays. There’s a difference between stalking your ex’s Facebook page and asking them straight out about their Valentine’s Day plans. Don’t stalk or assume anything. Clarify their interest and intention regarding including the kids in their holiday plans–or if that’s even an option.

Make a Plan
Once you know your ex’s plans, start making a plan. Prioritize schedules and consider the kids’ wants and needs. Do they have crafty school projects with approaching deadlines? Valentine’s Day can be a great time for the entire family to help. Do they just want to watch a movie marathon? If you can’t be in the same room long enough with the ex to manage that, split it between households. Or simply let the kids invite over some friends and host a Valentine’s Day sleepover or outing. You and the ex could even host it together if it’s out in public.

Share the Day
If you and your ex get along after the divorce, consider joining forces and focusing on a kid-centered Valentine’s Day. Let them invite friends for a party, take them out to lunch and a movie, or divide into teams and have a bake-off or craft day. If you’d rather get a root canal than spend that much time with the ex, schedule equal parts of the day per parent and plan something special for just you and the kids. They’ll love the special attention either way.

Alternate Years
Your co-parenting agreement should be clear and leave no serious questions unanswered. This includes how holidays will be shared. Not all parents can handle, or even want to, be together on the holidays after the divorce is final. If that’s an issue, consider alternating years. Allowing your ex to have the kids this Valentine’s Day can open the door to making new traditions on your end or just pampering yourself for a change. You can always have an extended-Valentine surprise waiting for your brood when they return.

Make a Back-Up Plan
Life is often messy and complicated, and even the best intentions and solid plans can go awry. Don’t let your kids suffer for their parents’ inflexibility. Plan to honor whatever Valentine’s Day plans are listed on the parenting agreement, but consider having a backup plan just in case things go wrong or have to change at the last minute. It could be something as simple as taking the kids out to lunch at the mall and then to a special movie they’ve wanted to see. Co-parenting is a lot easier when you put the kids first.

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