Friday, 9 December 2016

5 Ways to Cope as a Divorced/Seperated Parent at Christmas

Christmas is for families, seeing the joy on our children's faces on Christmas morning is pure joy and it is made even more pleasurable by spending it with our loved ones. But when relationships or marriages breakdown it can be the most difficult time of the year.


From experience, divorce and having to face Christmas alone can be a daunting experience.  Worrying about the cost of buying presents, or even spending Christmas day on your own whilst the children are with your partner, can all have a significant impact on your own wellbeing and that of your children.

Although it is hard there are simple steps you can take to enable a happy Christmas for your children.
  1. Put your differences on one side with your partner - Yes this is difficult, but for the sake of children try and keep things as amicable as possible.
  2. Ask the children what they want to do at Christmas - It is really important to take in to account what the children would like to do and involve them in decision making if they are old enough to understand. Yes we may not agree with what they want and it may hurt our feelings if it isn't what we want to hear, but children have a voice too and they should be listened to. 
  3. Try to arrange Christmas visits and sleepovers relatively early on - I know the heartache this can cause, but children need to know plans and it will reassure them that the absent parent is still part of their life. This will also allow you time to make plans for yourself, visit extended family or go out with friends.
  4. Presents - Do not let this become a competition in which both parents compete for best presents.  Children are just as happy to receive small gifts as they are large ones. Monetary value should not come in to the picture.  If you can communicate with your ex partner and find out what they are buying to avoid duplication, or even join together and buy one gift if it is expensive.
  5. Absent Parents - If it is not possible to be with your children over Christmas make them a video to watch on Christmas morning, imagine the joy they will get from watching it.
Remember there is no wrong or right way to spend Christmas and although Christmas will be different from now on, it doesn't mean to say you cannot enjoy it. Children matter all year round and although relationship breakdowns are hard for everyone involved, family life continues. Family is not just about parents though, extended family should be taken in to consideration too, they feel the loss of relationship break downs also.

If things become less amicable it is important to seek family advice at this traumatic stage in your life and Slater Gordon family solicitors London can offer help and advice with a no obligation consultation at a time to suit you.

In collaboration with Slater Gordon.

13 comments:

  1. Good advice and yes, I can imagine how difficult it must be for all those involved. You're right, the best thing to do is park your differences even if it's only for the holidays at least for the children's sake :)

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  2. I can imagine how difficult it can be to bring it all together at Christmas in these circumstances - these are really solid tips for those who are trying to navigate their way through as a separated/divorced family.

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  3. I was a single parent for many years when my eldest was younger and Christmas was always such a tricky time. Really useful tips x

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  4. I have been divorced from my eldests Dad for eight years now and Christmas was difficult at first but we soon established a routine and it works for both of us. I have him for the first half of the day, his Dad has him for the second half, and he gets double the gifts - he's happy with that!

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  5. I like that you take their opinion into account, asking them what they'd like can be an eye opener and means they'll be happy when it comes to the festive day. Organisation is key too for sure.

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  6. Great tips! It can definitely be a very hard time for everyone.

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  7. Lovely post Cathy. I can imagine it is the hardest day of they year for both parents if they are divorced and both want to see their children :(

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  8. Ideal tips but so much easier said than done. I think the video idea is a great one. Kaz x

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  9. This is all something I have never experienced as my mum and dad are still together, but some good pointers x

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  10. I bet it can be difficult at times but putting differences aside for the kids is one of the best ways to make it an awesome Christmas for them

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  11. This is a great post for a very difficult time for people. I think working out the plans as early as possible is a great idea

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  12. It is really tough, we alternated Christmas with the kids as it was the fairest way but I do remember having one christmas completely on my own which was horrible

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  13. I must be lucky - my parents had divorced when I was 10/11 - I had a family Xmas on Christmas Day and then with my dad on Boxing Day (he worked on Xmas Day as he was a chef for the Salvation Army). There were no arguments about that as I was allowed to choose what I wanted to do.
    In effect I had 2 Xmas days :) - to be honest I preferred Boxing Day with my dad!
    People who are separated/divorced should just allow their children to choose what they want to do not what the parents want

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