Plan early and put the kids first. That’s the advice for separated families this summer from Resolution, which says that thousands of children’s summer holidays are ruined each year by warring parents.
For some people, the idea of two summer holidays might seem like a dream come true, but the reality for separated families is often very different.
Putting the children first is the key to happy summer holidays.
Family holidays - whichever parent they are spent with - should be something to look forward to, but for children caught in the crossfire between separated parents who can’t agree on who takes the kids where, summer fun can quickly turn into summer misery.
Resolution has the following advice to help separated couples make summer holidays a success:
- Make your holiday plans early to avoid clashes, arguments and upset later.
- You may no longer be together but you are both still parents and should think about your children’s needs first. Talk about arrangements together, with a view to sharing both the pleasure and the responsibility.
- Don’t ask your children to choose between you. This risks putting the responsibility on them when the adults should make these difficult decisions.
- Do allow children to express opinions about how they want to spend their holidays and listen to their views without putting pressure on them. When you’ve made the decision, explain it to them so they know what’s going to happen.
Do make sure your children also have an opportunity to spend time with their friends over the holidays.
- Don’t make it a ‘who can book the best holiday’ competition between you and your ex. The likelihood is that what your children will want most of all is an opportunity to spend some time with each parent.