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Co-parenting Convo: Christmas & the Pandemic: What Do You Do When One Party is Struggling Financial

By Lucy Reynoso

It is officially the holiday season! Despite the confusing times brought by COVID-19, the Christmas spirit is alive with carols, decorations, gifts and family. Children all over the world are excited and gearing up for Christmas singalongs, movies, cookies and Santa’s arrival.

However, for some families, Christmas may be a little different this year. COVID-19 has not only brought uncertainty but also affected many individual’s income as some have been let go from their positions. With Christmas right around the corner, parents may be questioning how they can still keep their Christmas traditions and purchase presents for their children in order to normalize the puzzling world we currently live in.

Because of a reduction in income or unemployment, parents may not have the means to continue the Christmas practices for their children that they have done in previous years. These parents may be grappling with the idea of how to work around their finances to ensure that their child(ren) still have the best Christmas imaginable.

What do you do if your co-parent is struggling financially during this Christmas season? Here is a list of tips to manage this Christmas season amidst the pandemic:

Talk to One Another: If you are the parent that is struggling financially, speak to your co-parent and explain your current circumstances. Indicate a willingness to work with your co-parent to ensure that your child(ren) still have a great Christmas.

Listen to One Another: If you are the co-parent who is not struggling financially, be open to hearing what your co-parent has to say about his or her circumstances. Try to understand that this is not his or her fault and a result of the pandemic.

Make a Plan: Come up with a list of items that you intended to gift your child(ren). Go through each item and determine how you would like to share the cost of each. Perhaps, the parent who has the means can purchase the higher ticket items and the co-parent who may be struggling financially can contribute towards the lesser items. Moreover, an alternative to buying a bunch of little items is purchasing gifts that you each know your child(ren) will appreciate the most. Once you have narrowed down the items, you can determine how you each will contribute.

Be Realistic: Along with adults, children have been highly affected by COVID-19. They too, just like us, are learning how to adjust. Speak with them. If your child(ren) is old enough to know the truth about Santa, let him or her know that you are both going to do everything to make Christmas as special as the previous years. However, the important thing to remember is that Christmas is about family and you are all lucky to be healthy and happy especially during these times. Stress the importance of quality over quantity.

If your child(ren) is still young and believes in Santa, speak with him or her too. Let your child(ren) know that Santa is working extra hard this year to make sure everyone receives presents. However, due to the pandemic, that may mean that everyone might not be receiving the same quantity because he is working extra hard to ensure that every child(ren) is not forgotten.

COVID-19 has made the world difficult to navigate. However, the holidays remind everyone the importance of family. Seiden Family Law, LLC wishes everyone a very happy and healthy Christmas season!


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