The holidays can be stressful, especially when you’re constantly engaged in battles with your ex over custody issues. Not only does constant fighting between you and your former spouse impact you emotionally, it will also have an emotional impact on the children you share. While you can’t always avoid fights, there are steps you can take to defuse them when disputes occur. 

Keep conversations focused on your children 

It’s easy to let past resentments influence your current interactions with your ex. If you’re still angry about the actions that lead to divorce or even the divorce process itself, it might be hard for you to speak with your ex in a civil manner. In this case, focusing topics of discussion on your children only will prevent you from getting into another heated debate. You can also choose to speak via text or email until you feel comfortable having a face to face conversation. This will also create a record of the conversation for future reference. 

Develop tactics to defuse situations 

Even if you behave civilly, your ex might not do the same. Think about some ways to deflect arguments and redirect attention back to child-rearing. For example, you might choose to overlook small infractions like being a few minutes late picking up the kids. You might also manage your reactions to statements intended to instigate another fight. Remaining cool and collected will prevent the issue from escalating. 

Make the best interests of your kids a priority 

When having trouble keeping your composure or trying to see things from your ex’s perspective, keep in mind the real goal of your efforts. When making custody and parenting decisions with your ex, you only want to do what’s best for your children. That might mean backing down from fights and being flexible when it comes to scheduling and other issues. Doing so will ultimately be better for your children in the long run.