This time of year can be really difficult for newly separated families. Your family’s school holiday traditions will be in a state of flux and you might be coming to terms with not seeing your children for over a week at a time. Families who have been separated for years will tell you it’s not something that gets “easier” per say, but something you learn to adjust to and make the most of. If these holidays have been a bit tricky, try implementing our 5 step plan to make new traditions for your family next summer:
1. PLAN IN ADVANCE
Make sure you have your holidays planned before the last day of term. If you are taking the children on a holiday let the other parent know so you can schedule calls or skype conversations with the kids. Organise your drop offs in advance including place and time as to not create confusion but also to provide a routine. These are just to name a few. Having all this in place will help you organise your holiday with your kids but also make the holidays run much more smoothly.
2. CREATE NEW TRADITIONS
Try to not fixate on what was but try and focus on what will and can be. Start creating new traditions with your kids. May that be a new camping trip, holiday destination or maybe an activity you all do together. Your kids will relish the time they have with you and will love trying and doing something new as a family.
3. COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE
Did we say communicate enough? Communication is truly the key in any separation or divorce. It is very important to have open and amicable communication over the holidays. In Family Law, January is our busiest time of year and a lot of that has to do with the breakdown of communication. Remember your kids are the focus and they will flourish more in the process if you and your other side communicate and uphold an amicable relationship.
4. MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Don’t feel guilty for making plans for yourself. It’s not going to be easy, but it is important to take time to recharge and focus on you. Read that book that’s been sitting on your bedside table for months. Sign up to those gym classes or go on a day trip or two to the coast. Remember you have nothing to feel guilty about and these are the moments to have some down time.
5. ENCOURAGE AND LET THE KIDS HAVE FUN
Lastly, encourage the time that your children will be spending with their other parent. Don’t talk them down or bombard your kids with questions. It is important that your kids know that it is okay to have fun and enjoy their time away from you and to not feel guilty about leaving you alone. Holidays are about kids, so let the kids be kids and have fun.
We know it is always easier said than done, but we hope that these tips can help you remember to make the most of your holidays. Make every moment count and despite all the changes and adjustments, know that you’re not alone and you’ve got this.