10 tips for parents who have separated during the festive season
Umbrella Family Law • December 7, 2023
Navigating the festive season as a parent who has separated can present unique challenges. However, with thoughtful planning and consideration, it’s possible to create a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your children. Here are ten tips to help separated parents navigate the festive season:
- Plan Ahead and Communicate: Open communication is key during the festive season. Plan ahead with the other parent to coordinate schedules and ensure a smooth transition for the children. Clearly communicate about holiday plans, including who will be responsible for specific activities or events.
- Create New Traditions: Embrace the opportunity to establish new traditions for you and your children. Whether it’s a special holiday meal, a movie night, or a day of outdoor activities, creating unique traditions can help build positive memories during this season of celebration. See our blog about traditions for some helpful tips.
- Focus on Quality, Not Quantity: It’s not about the number of activities or gifts; it’s about the quality of time spent together. Be present and engaged when you’re with your children. Whether you have them for a few hours or a few days, make those moments meaningful.
- Be Flexible and Adaptable: Flexibility is crucial during the festive season, especially when coordinating plans with the other parent. Be open to adjustments and willing to adapt plans as needed. A flexible approach can reduce stress and contribute to a more positive atmosphere.
- Share Responsibilities Fairly: When it comes to holiday planning, share responsibilities fairly with the other parent. This includes coordinating gift-giving, organizing holiday events, and ensuring that both parents have the opportunity to participate in the festive celebrations.
- Encourage Communication with the Other Parent: Encourage your children to communicate with the other parent, especially if they’re spending time apart during the holidays. Facilitate phone calls, video chats, or other means of connection to ensure that the children feel connected to both parents.
- Focus on Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is essential during the festive season. Manage stress by practicing self-care, whether it’s through exercise, mindfulness, or spending time with loved ones. A well-balanced and emotionally resilient parent is better equipped to support their children. See our blog on managing your first Christmas solo for more tips.
- Respect Traditions from Both Sides: If possible, respect and incorporate traditions from both sides of the family. This can help the children feel a sense of continuity and connection with both parents’ backgrounds, fostering inclusivity and understanding.
- Manage Expectations: Set realistic expectations for yourself and your children. The holidays may not look the same as they did before, and that’s okay. Focus on creating a positive experience rather than trying to replicate past celebrations.
- Seek Support When Needed: Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or professionals if you find the festive season challenging. Talking about your feelings and seeking guidance can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the emotional aspects of separation during the holidays.
Remember, the festive season is about creating joyful moments and positive memories for your children. By approaching it with flexibility, communication, and a focus on quality time, you can help make the holidays special for your family, even in the midst of separation.
At Umbrella Family Law, we’re here to help you find a solution that works for you and your family. Contact us today to discuss your situation and how we can assist you.