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: Co-Parenting tips for the Holidays.

Close to 50% of marriages end in divorce, so roughly half of you reading this either had two Christmas party’s to go to as a child — or you are currently planning for a co-parenting holiday season. But look, not being romantically involved with your former partner you had kids with doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fun and stress-free holiday.

Experts say clear two-way communication is the key — which of course can be challenging. A lack of great communication is maybe a big reason why the relationship is over in the first place, but it’s about the kids and making sure their holiday season can still be magical. Here are a handful of co-parenting holiday tips to help:

*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. Experts say you need to plan ahead to avoid any last-minute disputes over who gets to spend how much time with your children and where they get to spend that time.

*Split Time Equally. Unless there are unusual circumstances, it’s best to split time so both parents have an equal holiday experience with their children.
This may involve giving Christmas eve to one parent and Christmas morning to the other.

*Discuss Gifts and Activities. Experts say, it’s crucial that you and your co-parent discuss the details of the holidays before they come around, especially about gifts and events.

Experts also say try your best to not put pressure on yourself to give your kids a perfect holiday. What matters is that you’re doing your best to provide a special experience despite the circumstances.