Making children’s festive season memorable for the right reasons

Cases of separation and divorce are rarely straight forward and Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for separated parents and their children.

It is understandably a season for sentiment and can open up old wounds. Tragically, some parents use Christmas as an opportunity to prove a point or cause disruption with their former partner.  Those problems so often cascade down onto the children.

One key area where separated or divorced parents can fall out is who has the children over the festive period.  In the knowledge that Christmas Day has been on 25 December for as long as I can remember, why haven’t arrangements about where the children spend Christmas been sorted?  I am not surprised that judges do not welcome eleventh hour applications for contact at this time of year.

In the interest of stability in the family, I would urge parents to plan ahead, communicate clearly and effectively and ensure that their children know what is happening this Christmas.  It is too often the case that they become the casualties of their parents’ disputes and, instead of enjoying the festive season, they merely survive it.

How to maximise children’s festive fun:

  1. Children need to feel that they are loved by each parent and that spending quality time with each of them over Christmas is both special and beneficial –  whether that’s a walk in the park, a meal together or a trip to the pantomime
  2. Children don’t want arguments, they want to know what is happening and why. But be mindful to spare them the details of any disagreements,  they should not become therapists, messengers or spies for their parents
  3. If things are strained with your ex-partner, deal with them like you would a business partner, taking away the emotion and remaining calm and measured.  Make sure that your business is raising happy, healthy youngsters and make this Christmas the best you possibly can.

What other tips do you have on how single or newly-divorced people can make Christmas easier? Comment below, e-mail us or tweet us @HelpWithDivorce.

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