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Special considerations for divorced parents this holiday season

The holidays are right around the corner, which means that it is time for parents to start making plans. If you aren't in a relationship with your children's other parent, you have some additional considerations.

This is a good time of year to teach your children about being considerate and staying on the high road. Here are some tips that might help your child enjoy the holidays this year:

No competitions with your ex

It is easy to think of the holidays as a "you versus your ex" kind of situation, but it isn't. You don't have to try to outdo your ex in everything. Instead, focus on what you feel your children need. Find ways to make memories with them without considering what might happen at the other parent's home. This point alone can reduce the stress that you feel considerably.

Think about what your kids want

The holidays are a time when children might want to do special things for certain people, like your ex or a stepparent. Be prepared to help them get something for the people on their list, even if purchasing gifts for those individuals might not be on the top of your list. Set a price limit for each gift and work with your children to find what they want to give.

Discuss gifts with you ex

The gifts your children receive are a high point of the holiday season. Think about what they want and find out if you and your ex can work together to buy the items on the list. You might even be able to enlist the help of extended family members who usually purchase gifts for the children.

This doesn't mean that you have to guarantee that the kids will have everything they want, but working as a team can ensure that there aren't duplicate gifts.

Another consideration is to ensure that the children can bring their gifts with them when they go from home to home. Having to leave a cherished gift behind might suck the fun out of the season for the kids.

Set the schedule early

The holidays are a busy time for most people. Now is the best time to set things up. Write out when you will have the children and jot down any important events. If you see any conflicts, you might have enough time to work out a plan with your ex so the kids can do all the fun things they will enjoy this year.

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