Holiday Co-Parenting with a Scrooge? Tips for Dealing with Takers in Your Life

Rebekkah J. Mouw, JD

Co-parenting with a difficult parent during the holidays is dreadful. There are a number of reasons a co-parent can be difficult, be it narcissism or just being a Scrooge. To simplify it, we will classify this co-parent as the “Taker.” Takers are characterized by those who never work with you no matter how much you give. No matter how much time you give up, no matter how backwards you bend over. Takers are there, with their hand out, asking for more. So, let’s talk about some strategies to handle these “Takers” and cut down on the battles.

  1. Have a Detailed Plan – This plan needs to be specific and include pick up times and drop off times. It also needs to include remedies if the plan is ignored.
  2. Set Specific Boundaries
    – “I only want to communicate through email or text.”
    – “I will only meet you at a neutral location to exchange the kids; I’m not comfortable with you coming to my home.”
    – “I understand this holiday is important to you as well, but I will only accept calls between 6pm and 8pm for the kids.”
    – “I do not agree to get the child X for a holiday present, and I will not allow it in my home.”
    – “I would welcome you and your partner to our child’s holiday show. I plan to go at this time.”
  3. Document Everything – Documentation can be used to enforce boundaries and may be necessary to show your efforts to compromise with your taker.
  4. Go to Court – Sometimes you cannot negotiate with a Taker.  Takers may require a judge to intervene before they take your holiday plan seriously. Get help. Keep your sanity.

For more tips on how to handle the “takers” in your life this holiday season, check out our full article under the Get Educated tab of our website. If you are dealing with a Taker, let’s see if we can help. Give us a call at 605-777-1772. Holidays are stressful enough. You shouldn’t be stressed about spending time with your children.

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