Half Term Headaches
October 9, 2017 by Sue McArthur
Half term headaches
As the October half term fast approaches, many separated parents will be faced with the daunting task of trying to determine who the children shall live with over that week. Don’t give yourself half term headaches – look at dealing with matters constructively and collaboratively.
Whilst it may be surprising that these arrangements are not already in place, many families leave it to the last minute which inevitably results in disagreement and stressful situations for all involved. It also means that parents are unable to book activities and holidays in advance.
In these circumstances, one parent can feel hard done by or that they are missing out on crucial time. In addition, parents can often feel guilty or lonely when the children are with the other parent.
There are no set rules as to how the school holidays should be divided between parents and the majority of the eventual pattern should be reached by communication, taking into account working shift patterns, views of the children (if they are old enough) and other commitments.
What should also be considered are forms of indirect contact, such as video and telephone calls or text messages when the children are with the other parent.
If your half term headaches are resulting in you both struggling to agree a split of this half term or other school holidays it would be helpful to discuss this in a Collaborative setting.
This would allow both parents to have their say and ensure that their views are listened to in a comfortable and supported setting.
Whilst arrangements can never provide for every eventuality and a certain level of flexibility would be ideal, the Collaborative process can allow parents to agree an overall framework which suits the whole family during all holiday periods which can either be split, consecutive, or alternated.
It goes without saying that having a routine in place which spans the school holidays across the year will provide for better relationships all round and a settled family with children who can feel happy knowing how much time they are spending with each parent at each holiday.
To discuss your half term headaches please contact Louise Masters at Sintons.