As the school term draws to an end, separated parents are often apprehensive of what the school holiday period may bring. The four-day Easter long weekend, which is the first opportunity for a relax and wind down with the family since the Christmas Holidays, is often a time when angst is heightened. 2019 has an added complication with the Anzac Day Public Holiday falling four days later, providing ample opportunity for parents to sneak in some annual leave between, and extend the public holiday period to even go away or to visit family elsewhere.
So, if you are separated and find yourself in this position, what are some things you can do to make this period a little easier for you and your children?
Remember to be child focused
The time the children spend with each parent/extended family, is for their benefit not the adults. Parties need to remember that children will naturally want to spend time with people they love and will often feel conflicted in their emotions and behaviour, to not want to upset one parent over the other. One way you can make it easier on your child/ren is to make arrangements with the other parent and stick to what has been agreed. Even if you feel frustrated with the other parent, don’t demonstrate this to your child. Be excited for your child and let them know you are! It is positive that your child is spending time with each parent and their extended family.
Appreciate your children’s needs
They have just finished the school term and will be excited to have some time with you without the daily grind of the working/school week.
Children’s needs need to be protected. They too will already likely be feeling the angst if there have been occasions in the past where they have been exposed to conflict. Try your best to re-enforce their need to have a relationship with the other parent by not running the other parent down. Your child will feel upset by this and will likely feel they have to make a choice.
Change-overs are a point where emotions are often heightened. If it is all too much for you try asking a family member or friend to facilitate the change-over with the other parent for you. If you can’t, consider agreeing to meet at a neutral location.
Communicate and respect arrangements
Communicate to the other parent what your plans are and stick to them. If you have agreed to meet at a certain time or place, do so. Often frustration is caused by plans not being followed. Relationship Counselling and Parenting After Separation Courses are beneficial in helping separated parties come to terms with how to parent post-separation.
Emalene Gemmell Family Law can advise you on what the law says about the breakdown of relationships and consequent parenting arrangements. We can also advise you on various solutions available to you.
For a fixed-fee personalised consultation to understand your rights. Contact us today