Co-Parenting, Holidays, and Covid – Nightmare or Opportunity?

Parent and child wearing masks

For separated and divorced parents, the holidays always bring added complexities, but in the middle of Covid, things are even tougher. Now it is not just a matter of coordinating time with each parent, but finding fun things to do with more limited options than usual.

I was very impressed with the Halloween experience this year. At first it seemed like it would probably be a big dud – would there even be trick or treating or would kids just have to stay home? In fact, people came up with all kinds of strategies for having safe and distanced fun. Some set out candy in displays, others shot treats down long tubes, special maps were developed to show houses set up for Covid safe visits, etc. In the end, I understand many families thought this was the BEST Halloween ever because of all the creativity that went into making it special.

How Can You Have a Great Holiday Season with your Kids in 2020?

First, make sure and coordinate plans with the other parent in advance so there are no surprises. This year that is not just coordinating times, but also making sure you are both on the same page about what seems safe or risky. If you are having trouble agreeing, consider working with a mediator or family counselor. And do it early – trying to schedule a last minute court hearing about next weekend’s parenting schedule never works out well!

As for things to do with kids, the Seattle Times has been posting helpful articles such as this and this to help parents get creative. Our Seattle Family Guide also directs you to organizations like Seattle Child and Seattle’s parks and rec department for you to track upcoming events. For more ideas:

Go Outside

Certainly the outdoors holds many great options for having fun with your children. For big adventures, there are snow sports like downhill skiing (with socially distanced lines), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing. Closer to home is hiking in local parks, taking a well bundled bike ride, or just walking around the neighborhood. As we get into December going on walks to look at holiday lighting is always fun, as well as catching some of the big light shows like Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo, or WildLanterns at Woodland Park Zoo.

Create a Family Art Project

Getting crafty is another way to make the holidays special. This might involve decorating your own house inside and out, baking special holiday treats (my grown son still remembers going to his aunt’s house every year to frost cutout cookies), or making hand crafted presents (one year we did wooden coasters, that I still use, and another we made cutting boards together).

Find a new Way for Family Togetherness

Seeing relatives for the holidays this year will be trickier than usual. We certainly do not want to see the holidays become a superspreader event. However, if you cannot get together safely, you can at least make liberal use of video conferencing apps like Zoom. For the holiday itself, having some special food delivered to your extended family and then zooming while everyone enjoys it, or zooming a present opening session can help everyone share the holidays.

You Can Always Turn to Us

While our family law attorneys don’t also serve as party planners, we still are here to help parents manage their parenting plans. If you and your partner are struggling with how to navigate custody, please consider reaching out to us.

At Seattle Divorce Services we wish everyone a happy, fulfilling, and cooperative holiday season!Happy Thanksgiving