Parenting arrangements for children’s Easter school holidays
Yes, it’s hard to believe but the Easter school holidays are approaching. For separated families, negotiating the kids’ holiday arrangements can be challenging at this time of year. So, what can separated parents do to make the holiday period a little easier for themselves and their children?
It’s important to remember that time arrangements for children are for the children’s benefit, not for the parents’ benefit. Parents need to communicate with each other and plan for times with children.
As a result, understanding some simple facts about children can help. Children often feel responsible for making both parents happy; their dream is that their family will be together.
Moreover, security is something children need. They conform to keep others happy and often don’t even know how to express their feelings about what is going on. This can mean that on the surface everything seems to be okay, but the child may, in fact, be experiencing a storm of unexpressed emotion.
For parents, it is also important not to argue in front of your children. Criticising the other parent, when talking to your children or arguing in front of them is simply poor practice for your children’s happiness and development.
Your children love both of you, and the relationship that they have with both parents must be protected. Criticising one parent is like criticising half of themselves – children can take it personally and be deeply hurt.
To avoid conflict, Relationship Counsellors recommend that parents need to agree on arrangements, so that there is no tension. Ask your children what they want to do, put your children’s desires ahead of yours and avoid a situation where your children may be drawn into the centre of the conflict.
Communication is the key
Start communicating well ahead of time and keep your children’s happiness and future development as your priorities.
Despite all your efforts, difficulties may still arise – especially when parenting arrangements are being made before the Easter school holidays. If you find yourself in this situation, a counsellor can offer helpful advice and strategies. A lawyer can explain what the law says regarding various situations with relationships and children, and give you advice about the options available to you.
A free copy of “A Guide to Family Law – Everyday Answers” is available to download via our Publications page. It is designed to provide a basic understanding of how Family Law relates to children issues, separation, divorce etc.
For fixed-fee personalised consultation with one of our Family Law experts, please call us (07) 3221 4300.