Christmas is always a very stressful time for all involved in a separation, both separated parents but more particularly the children involved.
Christmas should be a time for being with your family, relaxing and exchanging Christmas presents. Unfortunately, however, in the case of separated families, this can often be a very difficult and sometimes sad time for the children of a relationship.
So what can be done to help the children involved particularly when tensions are running high?.
It is really most important for mothers and fathers to protect their children from family law dispute. Children want to be able to look back fondly on all of their Christmas experiences.
So here are some tips on minimising the stresses of separation and divorce on not only yourself but also your children m-
- Agree on time to be spent with each parent as early as possible including times for change over and a changeover location to avoid and misunderstandings.
- Be flexible with the other parent and try to keep in mind this is as hard on them as it is on you. Try to remember that the other parent will also want to make arrangements for the children to see his/her family also.
- Spend some quite time checking in with the children on how they are feeling. Children will often hide their feelings and often just want to please you so it is important to give them an opportunity to open up and talk about it.
- Most children will be hoping that their parents will get back together and there is nothing you can really do about this. It is important however to make sure that your children feel safe and secure.
- As adults, you have the opportunity to choose how the situation is for the children (they don’t). Remember to always behave like an adult and keep conflict out of children’s world.
- Remember that the children love the other parent as much as they love you and have every right to.
- If seeing your former partner at changeovers will create tension that will be felt by the children, consider having a family member or friend deliver the children to changeover.
- Make sure to talk to the children about the arrangements that you and the other parent have agreed to so that they are well prepared and will know what to expect.
- If the children are old enough, give them the opportunity to voice their opinion of what they think about the arrangements that have been made.
- Make sure you put your children’s wishes first. You are the grown up and you have a responsibility to the children to ensure that they are now placed in situations which may create anxiety.
- Finally, remember that while your role in your former partner’s life may have changed and vice versa, the role of each of you in your children’s lives remains just as important as it always was. The way you and the other parent choose to play their role in this situation will be defining in your children’s lives.
If you need help with a Family Law issue, call Kate Walker, Family Lawyer on 1800 087 934 for a free confidential chat on the phone.