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Partner and Head of Family Law, Rugby
To most of us, the word ‘holiday’ conjures up thoughts of time off, leave, or a break, suggesting a bit of respite from the humdrum of everyday life and some of those parental duties that dominate the daily grind. This year however, for some, school holidays will be very different, most children will have been at home for quite a considerable amount of time and possibly the positive effects of families being forced to spend a lot of time together may be wearing a bit thin. Parents may well have run out of inspiration and resources regarding keeping the children occupied, so the thought of a further six weeks with no school may not be filling them with delight and the idea of being able to relax inconceivable.
I hope that most children whose parents have separated will have had the opportunity to spend time with both of them during the recent restricted period and some of the luckier young people may be looking forward to two holidays away. At least a change of scene can alleviate some of the pressures of family life and offer different activities than the ones available at home.
For some separated families financial restraints may have prevented a holiday being booked, restricted working hours and redundancies are almost bound to have affected some, leaving them with a depleted income. If that is the case, all the family will probably feel disappointed that time away isn’t an option and for single parents, already under pressure, it could mean that they have children to amuse and entertain on a limited budget with dwindling energy levels.
If communication between separated parents is good enough, sharing of ideas around stuff to do with the kids might be beneficial. Both parents will probably have different things to offer their children, which is healthy and gives children different experiences with both parents. If the divided couple can find a way of telling each other about the various options they have in terms of activities and outings, it can avoid replication of events and any disappointments.
It is not helpful when separated parents get in to competition with each other, seeing who can be the most ‘fun parent’. It may be that one of the parents is financially better off, so can afford more expensive trips out, but that does not mean that the children will have a better time, sometimes the simplest things give children the most fun. What children will probably want from both parents is their time and attention and the ability to join in with whatever activities they have been able to provide for them.
So maybe have a holiday from your usual routines this summer, you may not be able to take to the usual sunbed by the pool, cold drink in hand, but you can possibly find different ways to relax and enjoy your kids.
If you have any questions about separation and divorce or need some emotional support whilst separations or managing single parenting please call 01788 557587 or email Liz on firstname.lastname@example.org