With divorce rates rising, many kids now experience Christmas without Dad or Mum. Many parents worry that Christmas with only one parent present will not be the same for their kids. If you are doing Christmas as a solo parent for the first time, here are some tips that can help.
Many parents struggle with how to tell their child that they will be spending Christmas without Dad or Mum. However, it is very important to be upfront with children about Christmas plans. If you wait until Christmas is almost here to tell your child, they might be very disappointed. Let your kids know early about your co-parenting plans for Christmas.
It might not be possible, or in fact desirable, for your kids to visit their Dad or Mum on Christmas Day. However, you can still include the absent parent. Arrange a Skype call so the kids can show off their new toys and wish Dad or Mum a merry Christmas. This is a great way to show kids that both their parents are thinking of them on this special day.
Sticking to the same Christmas routine you’ve always had might feel strange now Dad or Mum is absent. Instead of staring at the empty space around the dinner table, why not start a new family festive tradition? You could go to a restaurant for Christmas dinner or invite over friends or relatives to create a festive atmosphere. You could even take a trip away to make this holiday feel extra special.
If you are a busy single parent, it can be tough to give your kids all the time and attention they need. Sometimes, other priorities such as work have to come first. During the first Christmas without Dad or Mum, try to put other obligations on the back burner. This will allow you to spend time with your kids and reassure them that they are loved and valued. If possible, try to swap shifts at work so you can be with the kids as much as possible during this first co-parenting festive season.
If you are worried about how to help your kids have a good time this Christmas, why not ask them what they want? Would they prefer a quiet Christmas at home with you, or a fun-filled adventure that breaks all the rules about how to celebrate? By giving kids input into the Christmas planning process, you can show them that you’re not only their parent but also their friend.
If you know other separated families, you can ask them for advice about how to handle the first Christmas without Dad or Mum. Divorced parents can be a fantastic source of wisdom as they have been through the same challenges you face. Ask them for advice on creating new Christmas traditions and making the day as magical as possible for little ones.
Long before Christmas rolls around, make sure you and your co-parent are on the same page. If the kids are moving from one home to another over the festive period, you should both know exactly when pick-up or drop-off will take place. Using a co-parenting app such as 2houses can help to clarify plans to ensure Christmas is conflict-free.
Create a parenting schedule