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4 Tips for Successful Christmas Parenting Arrangements

Whilst the fast-approaching Christmas holiday period should elicit feelings of joy and togetherness, it is common for many separated parents to be hit with waves of anxiety surrounding their parenting plans or orders, or lack thereof.  The most important thing to remember is that children will also likely be feeling just as anxious as the parents, but with a lower capacity to think rationally and truly understand the decisions that the parental figures in their lives are making.  We’ve put together our top four tips for ensuring this festive season runs as smoothly as possible.  

1. Have an agreed plan

Whether it’s court orders, a parenting plan or an informal agreement between parents, it’s important to clearly outline the parameters surrounding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ahead of time so there can be no room for misunderstandings which may lead to tension or conflict.  If the children are to spend the entire holiday period with one parent, it may be helpful to put together a phone call or FaceTime schedule so that the children can have meaningful contact with their other parent throughout this time.  

2. Communicate plans with your children

Although it may be difficult to align final decisions with your children’s expressed wishes, it is important to take into consideration what those desires are.  Children will feel more at ease when they feel included in decision-making.  In circumstances where their wishes aren’t able to be met, take the time to sit down with them and communicate exactly why certain decisions have been made.  

3. Consider multiple pathways

It’s essential to be open to exploring different options for parenting arrangements during the Christmas holiday. Keeping in mind the children’s best interests, it may be helpful to consider alternative arrangements such as rotating Christmas celebrations between both parents or splitting the holiday period. Being flexible and looking at multiple pathways can help find a solution that works for everyone and reduces any anxiety or conflict surrounding the holiday.

4. Ask for help

If you’re still struggling to communicate with a co-parent, or you can’t seem to reach agreement no matter how hard you try, it’s not a bad thing to seek assistance.  Love Family Lawyers are experienced in all matters relating to family law and we understand the stressors associated with the holiday period.  Contact us today for a no-obligation initial consult and we’ll be able to discuss the best options for you and your family this holiday period.