Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tips for making Christmas better for separated parents

Start early and see what worked before, mediators advise
  • Parents need to talk to each other soon rather than later about Christmas arrangements.
  • It can be helpful to look at what has worked for the family in the past. What is the usual Christmas routine? What “makes” Christmas for the children?
  • Has there been a tradition in which the extended families meet on Christmas Day? Can this occasion be continued and can both parents be present?
  • If there are small children, is it possible for both parents to be together when they are opening their presents from Santa?
  • Parents may need to agree in advance on what presents will be given. It can create difficulties if one parent gives the children an expensive present to which the other parent has already said No.
  • If there has been a tradition of visiting family graves, can a way of doing this be worked out for both families?
  • Can grandparents or other members of extended families put their feelings about one of the parents to one side to facilitate them to be present, for a time at least, on Christmas Day?
  • 8. If one parent is delivering Christmas presents will, or should, the other parent’s new partner be there? It may be wise to discuss this in advance or at least to be sensitive to the issue.

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