Create happy memories for children this Christmas/Xmas Holidays.
We know that Christmas/Xmas can be a difficult time for divorced families.
It may be the first time that children are spending Christmas day and holidays in different homes.
Their parents may have new partners or new friends and often children feel uncomfortable with these new people around. But with thoughtful consideration, open communication and proactivity, separated parents can create happy memories for their children.
Our family lawyers share their top tips for creating parenting arrangements that will bring peace, harmony, and happiness to your children.
i. Be prepared and confirm the Christmas holiday arrangements with your former partner one to two weeks before Christmas day and the festivities that follow.
ii. Minimise any conflict at changeovers by choosing neutral or child-friendly locations such as the park or public shopping centres.
iii. Make sure that you pack any soft and special toys for your children when they spend time with the other parent.
iv. Don’t engage in trivial or annoying or fruitless arguments with your ex-partner. Now is not the time. Stay focused on what is best for your children.
v. Don’t agree to arrangements you don’t wish to participate in – for example if you genuinely don’t want to attend the Christmas Eve dinner with your ex-partner and their new partner – then don’t.
Divorce and separation change many things and it’s important to remain sensitive to the needs of our children.
As alert and emotionally engaged parents keep the lines of communication open. Allow your children to feel ‘sad’ or ‘upset’ or just a bit ‘off’ during this time.
As a parent, we always want our children to be well and happy, but the reality is that we all get sad sometimes – that’s okay – the main thing is to offer reassurance, validation and love to your children.
Creating new Christmas Memories
1. Start new traditions around enjoying the Christmas Holidays. It might be that during December and leading up to Christmas Day, you and your children exchange little handmade cards or gratitude thoughts.
2. You may bake something new for Christmas and start a Christmas cake tradition.
3. Open presents at a different time. Instead of Christmas morning, perhaps it’s Christmas Eve.
4. Sponsor a charity and donate to this charity each year.
5. Do something physical, like take the children for a run or swim at the beach before festivities begin.
With clear agreements and realistic expectations, you can create happy and safe memories for your children which leave them feeling loved, cherished and special.
Have a Children & Parenting Issue, we can assist you. Contact us to speak to a family lawyer.
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