For some separated families Christmas can be the most emotionally difficult and trying time of year. For many separated parents with small children they are often torn, on the one hand there is the emotional stress of trying come to terms with being separated or divorced and on the other hand they genuinely want to do right by their children and not alienate the other parent. Celebrating the festive season is harrowing at the best of times and can only really work if both parents are
committed to taking care of their children’s needs first and not their own.
Venisha Shah, our family law specialist knows only too well that celebrating the festive season can be challenging for some parents and often disappointing for some children. In the following guide, we discuss some helpful tips so that you can make the right decisions for your children in 2013.
You may not care for your partner or what he or she has done but it is important to put aside your issues for the sake of the children even if it is only for one day. At times it can be very hard to remember your children’s living arrangements are ordered by the Court for your children’s benefit, not for your own benefit.
Many arguments arise because parents have un-realistic expectations about Christmas day itself. Often each parent’s expectation is the same. For example, who gets to spend time with them on Christmas day? The other parent may expect the same. This can lead to disagreements which a child could get caught up in the middle of.
Planning and preparation are crucial. We advise that parents think ahead, well in advance of Christmas and more importantly communicate with each other before the “day” arrives. Even if you do this we can’t guarantee that all aspects of the day will go smoothly, there are also the in-laws to consider! By planning ahead of time, you increase the odds of having a less stressful and possibly, an even happier day and for the coming year.
Understanding some simple facts about how your children could be feeling could help your situation:
Regardless of what has happened between two parents, children’s feelings come first. Parents should accept that their children love each parent and the relationship that they have with the other must be protected. Avoid criticising each other, it just creates tension create tension for your children. Don’t ask the children to make “it’s him or me” decisions, it’s hard enough as it is. It is only one day in the calendar, there are 364 other days in the year 2013 and we hope that we have been able to help.
If you require advice on any family law matter, particularly with regards to divorce or separation please contact Venisha Shah, on 020 8956 2655 today.