LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 co-parenting tips for the holidays.

December can be hard for divorced parents. A lot of special moments are ahead, but so are a lot of emotions that can boil up without proper planning and communication — that can lead to feelings getting hurt. Experts say a successful co-parenting holiday season involves clear two-way communication — which of course can be challenging. So, here are 6 co-parenting holiday tips that can help things go much more smoothly over the next few weeks:

*Talk to your children about the holidays. Child development experts say regardless of age, make sure they understand the situation, especially if it’s your first holiday after a separation.

*Make Arrangements With Your Former Partner Ahead of Time. You must try and avoid any last-minute disputes over where and when your kids will celebrate.

*Plan alternate celebrations. If your child isn’t going to be with you on the big day — then plan for a special day shortly before or after that you can look forward to, which may also turn into a new family tradition.

*Try and split time equally. Unless there are unusual circumstances, it’s best to split time during this time of year a bit more evenly so both parents can have an equal holiday experience with their children.

*Discuss gifts and activities together. Experts say it’s crucial that you and your co-parent discuss the details of the holidays, especially involving gifts and events so they don’t overlap.

*Help your child shop for the other parent. Experts say this is super helpful for kids to not only find a gift but also demonstrate goodwill toward the other parent.

It’s also highly recommended that you try your best to not compete against the other parent, especially when it comes to gifts.