The holidays are supposed to be a happy time but if you are sharing custody of your kids they can quickly become a time of frustration and disappointment. Dividing up time with the kids during the holidays is rough because both families want to have time with them and often holiday parties and other events cut into one parent’s time and switches need to be made. After years of dealing with holiday custody frustration here are a few tips I’ve learned to make sharing custody of your kids with your ex easier during the stressful holiday time: Be Flexible You both know what the custody agreement is so don’t throw that in the other parent’s face. Instead be flexible and be willing to make deals when it comes to custody. If your ex really wants to take the kids to see their grandparents on Christmas Eve let them even though Christmas Eve is your night with them. Just move your holiday celebration to the next day. Or vice versa. Remember that the goal is to make sure that your kids have a nice holiday and get to see their family members and spend time with them. It’s not about winning or beating your ex. It should be about what will make the kids the happiest. Make Your Time Special You may not get your kids on Christmas Day, or even on Christmas Eve. But you can make the time that you have with them feel special anyway. Take them ice skating or take them out for hot chocolate or take them to go see the holiday displays in the storefronts. Anything that you can think of to make the holiday fun and special. Even if you don’t have custody on the actual holiday the kids will remember the holiday time they had with you fondly. And that’s what matters. Coordinate With Your Ex About Presents Giving presents can be a nightmare for parents who are split up. If you told the kids they can’t have a new console gaming system. Your ex buys them one then you are the bad guy if you take it away. But if you give the kids new phones. And your ex also got them phones on their phone plan that can be a disaster too. It’s very important that you talk to your ex. Set some ground rules when it comes to giving gifts to the kids. And both of you need to abide by the rules that you set and make sure that your parents do also. Let each set of grandparents know what rules you and the ex have decided on when it comes to Christmas gifts. Asks them to please respect the rules so that peace and harmony can be maintained. Don’t Badmouth Your Ex You should never say bad things about your ex in front of your kids, but during the holiday season when you’re frustrated with changing schedules and other problems you might be tempted to let something negative slip. Don’t. That is not helpful for anyone and it’s not good for your kids.