3 Effective Tips to Keep Calm and Enjoy the Christmas Holidays

Co-parenting with an ex-partner can be one of life’s most challenging situation.

Whether you are newly separated or have been separated for years, arrangements for Christmas holidays can be fraught with problems.

It may be that you and your ex have been able to agree in the past, but suddenly things have changed. It may be that you have moved on with a new partner or one of you is unwilling to let go of the relationship (even if it’s over) or the children are growing and their needs are changing.

Below are 3 tips to help you keep calm and carry on with the Christmas Holidays.

 

Tip 1 – Read your Orders

Read your Orders or parenting plan. If you have parenting Orders or have agreed to a parenting plan – start with re-reading the Orders. Even if you’ve had them sitting in the bottom drawer of your cupboard for the last 5 years, this is the first place to start.

When reading the Orders, its best to be calm and cool-headed. We know that when we are stressed, we often over-think or miss important facts or mis-read what is on the Orders.

By reading the orders hastily or in an emotionally stressed state, you may give away or concede to agree to arrangements that are in your interests or you are not legally obliged to do.

 

Tip 2 – Let the other parent know early what your Christmas plans are.

When navigating co-parenting, early preparation and pre-thought leads to smooth and successful Christmas plans. Understandably this is not always possible, but it’s still important that you let the other parent know as soon as possible what your plans are.

There is nothing worse than you and the children being disappointed because the other parent decides to do something that clashes with your plans or holiday dates and refused to accommodate your plans.

It’s also important to remember that children deserve to experience a happy and peaceful Christmas day and holidays.

Be prepared to:

– Do everything you can to minimise the arguments and conflict during this period
– Engage your lawyer to write a letter explaining the Christmas arrangements and getting confirmation from your ex-partner
– Email your ex directly (use business like-language) and seek their understanding and agreement (if possible) of the arrangements
– Protect your future interests and concerns – it may be that this year you agree to your ex-partner’s proposal as long as next time your proposal is agreed to.

 

Tip 3 – Don’t sweat the small things

The trick to managing co-parenting situations that get out of hand is to remind yourself to not sweat the small things. By remaining cool and calm you’ll not only have the advantage, you’ll preserve your sanity and peace.

Life is precious, and time is a limited resource. Before you know it, your children will grow and become teenagers and young adults. There is no point creating or reacting to conflict. Choose to respond rather than react to your ex’s negativity.

If for example your ex has requested to travel with the children during the holidays-make it easy for your children (provided its safe). Give your blessings! Harbouring resentment and creating dramas is unfair to your children- you may not be able to travel this year, but next year it will be your turn.

-teach your children the gift of graciousness – let them see you rise above the drama and conflict-

Pamela

If you want to learn more from Pamela about the benefits of a happy and healthy life, then email pamela@cominoslawyers.com.au for more information.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to replace any specific advice from a lawyer, counsellor or any other medical professional. The article is general information only.