With the holidays fast approaching, it can be a busy and stressful time, especially if you have family visiting or you are hosting a large family event. If you are also navigating shared parenting, whether it be your first year, or after many years, it can create extra tension. We’ve listed our top tips below to help you and your family enjoy the holiday season.
1. Communicate expectations openly and regularly
Communication is key for a successful holiday period. Using a shared calendar can help ensure everyone is aware of plans, including pick-up and drop-off times, dates and locations, and important events. When you communicate plans and expectations, it gives everyone a chance to be on board, and know what is required. And even if they are young, keep children in the loop too, it can significantly help with transitions and managing expectations, and emotions.
2. Make plans in advance
Remember that shared calendar? Start making plans early. It’s a busy time of year with Christmas parties, school concerts, not to mention all the Christmas shopping. Making plans in advance, and sharing them with your child’s other parent or carer, helps reduce any conflicts or tension.
3. Create new family traditions
If this is your first year since separating from your partner, or navigating shared parenting in the holidays, it can be especially tough. Creating new family traditions can bring the magic back into the holiday period. Consider giving gifts on a different day, visiting Christmas lights, making gifts for family and friends together, or even putting up decorations early can help create important new family memories and traditions.
4. Seek professional help
To avoid any confusion, miscommunication or conflict, seeking legal assistance and implementing parenting orders can benefit everyone, and not just over the holidays. The law, and the courts, are focussed on facilitating a meaningful relationship between children and both of their parents and protecting them from harm. When you find the right legal team and family law specialists, they will guide you through the process around parenting orders and get the best outcome for you and your family.
5. Focus on the kids
Spending time with your children, especially after time apart, is the priority after all. Remember your child may act out or be emotional, as it can be hard for them to spend time apart from each parent. Keep this in mind, and ensure you take the time to reconnect and enjoy the holidays together. Don’t criticise your child’s other parent, or make them feel like they have to choose. It can put more pressure and stress on your child, and impact your relationship.
Do you need help with shared parenting or parenting orders these holidays?
Seton Family Lawyers are experienced and accredited family law specialists. Contact us today to book an appointment so we can help guide you through the process of establishing parenting orders. We settle 98% of cases outside of court and are conveniently located in Erina, NSW. Our Central Coast family law specialists can help you achieve the best outcome for your family.