Have you been putting off the discussion about Christmas arrangements or wondering where to start? 

 

Many children look forward to the Christmas holidays with no school, homework, or early mornings. But for separated parents, even those who successfully co-parent and have child arrangements that work well throughout the year, there can be difficulties when it comes to making child arrangements over the festive period. Both parents and extended families may naturally want to be the ones who get to open presents on Christmas morning with the children.

 

There are four main options that most families tend to choose from:

 

  1. The whole family spends the day together. However, this is only an option if the relationship has remained amicable between the separated parents.

 

  1. The child or children spend Christmas Day with one parent and then Boxing Day with the other. This way, it is almost as though the child or children are having two Christmas days.

 

  1. Split Christmas Day up: Christmas Eve and Christmas morning will be spent with one parent, and then Christmas afternoon and Boxing Day will be spent with the other parent.

 

  1. Alternate each year who has Christmas day. For example, one parent will have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day one year, and then the next year they will have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

 

Below are some tips to help parents reach an agreement for child arrangements over Christmas:

 

  1. Start making plans as far in advance as possible (it becomes more stressful the later it is left).

 

  1. Make a list of suggestions.

 

  1. Be fair and considerate to the other parent.

 

  1. Be flexible and willing to compromise.

 

  1. Try to think of it from the child's point of view.

 

  1. Include the child, but don’t make them choose.

 

  1. Put the plan in writing.

 

  1. Keep calm and practical, so children don’t pick up on bad feelings.

 

Mediation can help with planning and being objective with discussions about holiday arrangements. If you would like to arrange an appointment, call us on 01462 429735.

 

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