Tips for Effective Co-Parenting During the Holidays with a Long-Distance Parent

Co-parenting during the holidays can be challenging, especially when one parent lives far away. It can be difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy and create a positive experience for children during a time that can feel stressful and complicated. However, with some planning, communication, and flexibility, it is possible to have a successful co-parenting experience during the holidays with a long-distance parent. In this guide, we will provide you with some tips for effective co-parenting during the holidays with a long-distance parent.

1. Create a Parenting Plan

The first step in effective co-parenting during the holidays is creating a parenting plan. A parenting plan is an agreement between parents that outlines how they will share parenting responsibilities and make decisions about their child or children. This plan should include details about holiday visitation schedules, transportation arrangements, and any other important information about how the parents will work together to ensure their child’s needs are met.

When creating your parenting plan, be sure to consider your child’s age, school schedule, and any other commitments they may have during the holiday season. It’s essential to create a fair visitation schedule that allows both parents to spend time with their child or children during the holidays.

Once you have created your parenting plan, make sure to communicate it clearly with your co-parent and your child or children so that everyone knows what to expect.

2. Utilize Technology

Technology can be an essential tool for effective co-parenting during the holidays when one parent lives far away. Video calls through Skype or Zoom can allow both parents to participate in holiday celebrations together virtually. This way, both parents can watch their child open presents or participate in other holiday traditions.

You may also want to consider setting up virtual celebrations where both parents can participate. For example, you could plan a virtual holiday meal where both parents and the child or children can eat together virtually.

3. Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is crucial for successful co-parenting during the holidays. Make sure to keep your co-parent informed about any changes to the parenting plan or visitation schedule. Keep in mind that unexpected events may occur, so it’s essential to be flexible and willing to adjust plans as needed.

It’s also essential to communicate with your child or children about the co-parenting situation during the holidays. Let them know what to expect, and reassure them that both parents love them and want to spend time with them during the holidays.

4. Maintain Family Traditions

Maintaining family traditions can help create a sense of normalcy during the holiday season for your child or children. If possible, try to continue with any family traditions that you have established in previous years, even if one parent is not present.

If it’s not possible to continue with all traditions, consider starting new ones that both parents and the child or children can participate in together virtually or in person if feasible.

5. Review Your Custody Agreement

If you are struggling with co-parenting during the holidays, it may be helpful to review your custody agreement with an attorney or mediator. This can help ensure that both parents are meeting their obligations under the agreement and can provide guidance on how to handle any disputes that may arise.


Co-parenting during the holidays with a long-distance parent can be challenging, but it is possible to have a successful experience by creating a parenting plan, utilizing technology, communicating effectively, maintaining family traditions, and reviewing your custody agreement if necessary. By working together, both parents can create a positive and memorable holiday season for their child or children.