We often see an influx of people seeking advice when the holiday period approaches, and this is completely understandable. The holiday period can be testing at the best of times, with an influx of family gatherings to attend and traditions to uphold, with neither party wanting to compromise.
In this blog post we will provide some “quick tips” on how to navigate the holidays when separated.
- Make the best interest of your children your paramount consideration and be willing to make some compromises.
Often at times when parties are going through a separation, particularly in circumstances when its your first year spending the holidays as a “separated couple” it is easy to have tunnel vision and get bogged down in the “win”. However, as the two adults in the relationship, parents need to be willing to put their emotions aside for the sake of their children. Expecting your children to compromise puts unfair pressure and stress on them and therefore you may have to put your emotions aside, sacrifice your time or change your plans for the sake of your children. However regardless of what concessions you make It is important that you make these concessions without telling your children.
- DO NOT make your children pick a side.
Often at time when parties have separated, especially when the separation is “fresh”, parties are left feeling confused, angry and looking for someone to blame. Once again it is vital that you do not force your children to pick a side or comment on who is “right” or “wrong” in a situation. You do not need to fake a perfect family environment for the holidays, you just need to avoid creating a toxic one.
- DO NOT use gifts to “one up” your partner
If you celebrate the holidays with the exchanging of gifts, it is an excellent idea to discuss the gifts you plan to give your children with your partner and to create a budget as to what each of you will spend. It is important that you do not use the holidays as an opportunity to create a competition between your former spouse and yourself. Your children need to know that you both love them equally regardless of the gifts exchanged and that it’s the thought behind the gift that counts. If you and your former spouse are fairly amicable, you may event want to encourage your children to buy a gift for your former spouse.
- Always remember YOU are the adults and that the decision is ultimately yours to make
Many recently separated couples make the mistake of letting their children pick who they want to spend the holidays with. This is not a good idea, particularly in cases of young children. This once again places undue pressure on them and could ultimately result in them feeling guilty and as though they need to pick a side. You and your former partner should try and come to an arrangement that seems fair to all involved.
Need further advice?
If you are experiencing a hard time dealing with your separation, having a good family lawyer/divorce lawyer can help and make a huge difference during this stressful and trying time.
To find out more, contact Kydon Segal Lawyers today.