Christmas challenges in 2020

This year’s Christmas preparations for contact with absent parents need extra planning and thought. The government guidelines and incumbent restrictions make life particularly complicated as we wait for life to return to some sort of normality.

This Christmas, people will be required to form bubbles of up to three households over a five day period between 23 and 27 December.

How do we deal with this year’s rules?

> Preparation in advance and open communication.  

Learn from history and consider perhaps a Christmas truce if relationships have become difficult.  This will hopefully assist in smoothing over any last-minute changes due to unexpected prohibitive tier restrictions in different areas.  

> Make plans for the unexpected.

Have a plan ‘B’ available should a family member or friend have COVID 19 symptoms which may mean self-isolation or quarantine periods.  This may bring extra complications if there are travel arrangements to consider.

> Have fun within the guidelines.

Keep yourselves updated with the government guidelines to enable appropriate activities that can be enjoyed by all. If it is your first ‘separated’ Christmas listen to your children and try to reassure them and, where possible, involve them in the holiday preparations.

> Stick to routines, when possible.

Above all try not to make a situation where the children have to choose between you.  There are no set rules regarding children’s holidays with absent parents.  Some families benefit from a fixed routine, others prefer more flexibility, depending on the family makeup and locations.

> Limit your travel.

This year with the COVID-19 travel restrictions travel generally is limited, if not prohibited.  In general be aware that if you wish to take your children abroad for Christmas, or at any other time, you must obtain the other parent with Parental Responsibility’s permission.  

If permission from the other parent is not provided then you will have to apply for a court order granting you permission to travel.

Remember – it’s a holiday, let’s try and make it enjoyable for all, wherever possible! 

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