For many people, Christmas is not what it used to be. For separated families, it can be a time for sadness and disappointment and caught in the middle of it, are children.
When there seems to be no easy way to enjoy the holiday break, it is important to understand that the time spent with children over these holidays, is for their benefit, not yours. That is the legal point of view, and the correct attitude for parents to have.
At times, there are Court Orders in place or there have been arrangements made amicably between the parents, which allows a less stressful time for the parties including the children.
If plans have not been laid, and tensions between the parents are high, it can be helpful to think of the children’s feelings, hopes and expectations.
Children often feel great tension at Christmas, often feeling responsible for making both parents happy. They dream that their family will be together and whilst coming to terms with the break up, can often feel responsible. The longer time spent with each parent can change the dynamics of past experiences, and due to lack of life experience, they don’t have the capacity to make choices, where adults do.
To avoid situations this holiday period, make a genuine attempt to agree with the other parent, discuss things with the child, and never put your child in the centre of any conflict. The most important rule is to put the child’s interests ahead of your own.
Make these holidays an enjoyable time for your children.
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This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.