A man and woman arguing while standing on a staircase while their child covers their ears and cries

Avoiding Co-Parent Conflict Over the Holidays

Keeping the Peace Throughout the Season

With the many places your children may have to be throughout the holidays or the many times you may have to pick up or drop off your children, the holiday season can be a difficult time for co-parents. Often trying to balance regular responsibilities with holiday obligations can become stressful, and that stress can lead to conflict with your co-parent.

Rather than let emotions boil over, however, consider the following tips for more peaceful interactions in times of stress.

Keep Communication Open

Communication is absolutely key to successfully navigating the various activities of the holiday season. Children may have to be picked up or dropped off at the co-parent’s house, and there may be other family obligations and gatherings that everyone has to attend. In addition, the holidays are a prime time for the unexpected to occur out of nowhere.

Your first line of defense against any sort of potential conflict-causing situation is to communicate early and often. Letting your co-parent know of any changes to your child’s schedule or of something that needs to take place can eliminate much confusion and misunderstanding. Keeping each other informed also works to strengthen your co-parenting skills and, ultimately, benefit your child.

Keep Calm

If misunderstandings or miscommunications occur, don’t let them completely remove you from the positivity of the season. Allowing yourself to feel negative emotions caused by experience can lead you down the road of complaining and bitterness, two feelings that not only bring you down but also work to impact your children.

Keeping calm also applies to co-parent communication, as well. When you have to speak with your co-parent, don’t let frustration overcome that conversation, as it can lead to a bad interaction, more negative feelings, and gradual strain on your relationship with your co-parent. That strained relationship can also have an effect on your relationship with your children.

Keep Your Children First

Above all else, be sure to keep your relationship with your children and their best interests first as you navigate the season. The actions you take and the words you say now can stick with your children for many years to come; what type of lasting memory of the holiday season do you want your children to hang on to in the future?

Mediating Holiday Custody Issues

If you and your co-parent are having disagreements related to holiday visitation and custody issues, it is highly recommended that you work through these issues with a third-party mediator to facilitate discussion and come to a peaceful resolution. At FairWell Family Law Mediation, we aim to say “FairWell” to conflict and welcome collaboration and successful solutions to problems.


To learn more or to get started, call (651) 409-9093 or visit us online.

Categories