Double Helpings of Sprouts…

Posted on

Make sure your kids don’t get double sprouts – planning Christmas across two households.

For divorced and separated parents, Christmas can require careful planning. After all, how many children like brussel sprouts, let alone facing the dreaded “greens” twice on the same day!

The first Christmas apart can be especially difficult. The emotional pain of the split may still be raw. Understandably, both parents will want to be with their children but separate homes can make splitting Christmas a real headache.

The main thing to remember is that you are both still parents.

Here are my top 10 Christmas tips:

1. Put your children’s needs and feelings first. Discuss arrangements with the other parent and try to share both the pleasure and the responsibilities.

2. Plan early. Leaving arrangements to the last minute can make discussions much more difficult. Agree the plans, and keep the children informed.

3. Think long-term and stay flexible. You may want to be with the kids on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Sometimes it’s not practical to split the time. Bundling children into a car on Christmas Day when all they want to do is play may not be for the best. It may be fairer – and easier on your children – to alternate which household the children spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in, from one year to the next.

4. Don’t ask your kids to choose between Mum and Dad. This puts them in an impossible position. Difficult decisions should be taken by adults.

5. Let the children know that even though things will be different, Christmas is special. Work together with your children to create new Christmas traditions in each home.

6. Take the children to visit family. Christmas can be a good time to strengthen important relationships with relatives. This also helps provide some stability for children when their lives are changing.

7. Don’t over-do things. Sometimes separated parents can feel guilty which leads to them over-compensating. This can overwhelm children and leave them feeling exhausted and stressed.

8. Don’t compete with your ex over presents. Instead, discuss what presents to buy so that you don’t duplicate. Also, allow your children to decide where they will keep their gifts afterwards.

9. Help your children make or buy gifts for the other parent. Children need to experience the joy of giving and it also lets them know that you support their relationship with the other parent.

10. Compromise and be positive. If you don’t get exactly what you want, be gracious about it for the children’s sake, as well as your own. Holding grudges, is a negative emotion that will stay with you for a long while. You can always try a different arrangement next Christmas. If you are spending Christmas without the kids, use the time positively – make plans with close friends and family members or take time to do something special for yourself.

For more information or advice please click here to contact a member of our friendly Family Law team today

Peter Berry

Associate, Chartered Legal Executive, Wills and Probate

Contact a member of the team  

Here at Awdry Law we use cookies to:
- improve our website performance;
- help you share our content across your social media networks; and
- personalise our advertisements to you.

To accept our cookies please click the button below, or for further details and the chance to specify your cookie preferences please click ‘more information’.

You can change your preferences at any time by visiting the “Cookies Preferences” page, which can be found via our footer. View our Privacy and Cookies policies for full details.