It is that time of year again when things can become a little tense as summer holiday, Christmas day and New Year plans for separated families are negotiated and implemented.
Christmas time is an important time for families, and should be a joyful time for children. With careful planning children can spend Christmas time with parents, extended families, and other significant people in their lives.
What can you, as separated parents, do to make Christmas magical and happy for your children?
You can follow these 8 handy tips to keep things civil and stress-free this Christmas.
8 Tips for a Child-Focused and Happy Christmas Holiday
- Have you planned holiday activities and outings, and taken some time off work?
- Make sure both parents know about any Christmas plays, concerts or activities coming up and that they have the opportunity to attend.
- Make Christmas time a happy childhood memory. One of the most important issues for childrens’ mental health is not to be exposed to disputes between their parents. It is suggested that exposing a child verbal or emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence, regardless of whether the child is a target of such violence or not.
- What would the children prefer to happen on Christmas day? Is splitting the Christmas Day in half what the children would likely prefer? Or would they be happier not to travel on Christmas Day – instead spending Christmas with one parent one year and Christmas with the other parent the next year? Would the children be excited to see both parents, grandparents and other people who are important to them on Christmas Day?
- If you have your children on Christmas Day, encourage them to have meaningful contact with the other parent through the course of the day via Skype, Facetime or by phone.
- If one parent has issues affecting the children’s safety, such as drug and/or alcohol problems, is there someone trusted who might supervise the time?
- Would you let the children take some of the gifts to the other parent’s home?
- Can the children give a gift to the other parent?
If you require further information or advice on planning your Christmas/Summer holidays with your family situation do not hesitate to contact us on (08) 8113 3111 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.