With the Christmas and New Year holidays approaching, here are a few tips to help try to agree the best arrangements for your children over the holidays.
It’s important to remember that, whatever you might think about your ex-partner, in most families, children benefit from having the chance to enjoy a relationship with both their parents. Christmas is a good time to communicate positively with your former partner. This helps to make sure that you are both working together as far as possible to try to achieve the best outcome for your children.
If communication is hard, think about trying mediation or getting legal advice.
It is definitely better to make plans well in advance. This lets your former partner and you sort out dates, travel arrangements and organise the extended family, if necessary. Making your plans ahead of time also makes sure that the adults and children are all clear about what will happen.
If there are problems, these are identified early which allows time to get help.
Children’s wishes and feelings
One of the key issues to resolve is how the children will spend their time over Christmas. Children often have their own opinions, especially as they get older. It’s worth asking them because they might have the perfect answer.
One good approach is for children to spend alternate Christmases in each household when their parents are separated. This often seems fair because over the course of two years it allows them to wake up in both parents’ houses on Christmas morning.
Your children might love a bit of tradition. They might always want to have Christmas Day in one place and celebrate a second fixed special day annually in their other parent’s home. This allows for double the fun.
It’s important to remember that not all children want to make these sorts of decisions. They should not be drawn into adult issues, especially when they might be forced to choose between two people they love very much.
Remember, Christmas is not a competition! If your children are making lists, share these with your ex partner and check what they plan to get, to avoid duplication and disappointment.
If you need help, give Celia or Sam a ring on 01752 222211.