Getting through Christmas after you have separated

Christmas can be hard on families that have divorced or separated. Tensions and emotions that are already highly charged can very easily boil over with the added pressure brought on by the holiday season.

This is especially the case where children are involved. We see it all too often that even the most reasonable people can easily come undone at this incredibly trying time.

If you are recently divorced or separated here are some of our tips to help you get through the Christmas period as stress-free as possible.

  1. Have a plan in place well in advance. This means communicating with each other so that there is certainty and understanding as to who is doing what, where and when.
  2. The children are not pawns in your relationship. They deserve (as do you) to enjoy Christmas so be respectful to your agreed plans and stick to any drop-off or pick up times.
  3. If the children are with you on Christmas morning encourage them to call their other parent and wish them a Merry Christmas. You will be setting a good example for your children about kindness and respect.
  4. Don’t drink to excess – often things go downhill on Christmas day when too much alcohol is involved.
  5. Try and avoid changing plans or running late unless it’s absolutely necessary – but if this happens, do the right thing and give your ex-partner plenty of notice and apologise for doing so.
  6. Keep your thoughts and comments about your ex-partner to yourself – your children don’t need (or want) to hear you talking about the other parent – they love you both and negative talk can be destructive to your relationship with them.
  7. Make the most of the times you are without the children. Get some rest, go to the beach, read a book or just take some time for yourself. Looking after yourself post-separation will allow you to focus on being a great parent when you do have them.

And remember we put a lot of pressure on ourselves at Christmas time. Keep it in perspective because every day you spend with your children is special and there are 364 other days in the year that you can choose to make equally as memorable.

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