Christmas is not such a jolly time for all…
Sadly, at this time of year I see an influx of enquiries relating to Christmas contact with children. The vast majority of these enquires do come from fathers, who are desperately seeking a resolution to the often intractable conflicts they find themselves in with their ex-partner or spouse.
Relationships break down for so many different reasons, but no matter what the reason or who is to blame the children’s needs should never be lost, forgotten, or overshadowed by the ending of the relationship. I am not saying this is true for all cases, as there are occasions when there are very serious reasons as to why contact is not happening with the absent parent, which I entirely recognise.
In the cases where the relationship ends, and one parents moves on with a new partner, I see a regular pattern of problematic contact. The needs of the children are sometimes swept to one side, and the main goal is to cause as much upset to the now absent parent as possible, rather than ensuring the children are continuing to have a loving relationship with each parent.
It needs to be remembered that the children are already having to deal with the breakdown of their parents’ relationship- this is hard in itself. To then become embroiled in a tug of war must be devastating and confusing for them.
Christmas is a magical time for children (and adults!) but it can soon become tarnished, and a time that children would rather avoid. Christmas is a time for parents to work together to ensure that contact arrangements run smoothly, and have as little impact on the children as possible. Try to set your differences aside for the sake of the children.
If you are simply not able to work together, or you have tried all you can and are getting nowhere with your ex-partner, then I can help.