Catherine Hyde – Paralegal, Family Law ClerkDoc1.jpg

This picture brings an immediate smile to my face.  It is clear that both mother and daughter are enjoying the moment.  No fancy games or resorts just a moment together.  Spending time with your children is the best present you can give to your children.  The day may include the full range of emotions from laughter to tears but hopefully it is the good times that will be remembered most.

It’s mid-December so by now hopefully you and your spouse have worked out all of the details relating to this Christmas holiday season so that each of you know what time you will be spending with the children.   Below are some points to help you through the holidays:

  • Speak well of your spouse.  Do not pressure your children to favour you
  • Although you may have had certain traditions during your marriage at Christmas time you can pick and choose which of those you now wish to follow and what new traditions you want to make.  Ask your children to contribute ideas and find out which traditions meant the most to them
  • Discuss with your children what their expectations should be at Christmas time.  You can outline to them what the budget might be for gifts for them and for others so that they are realistic in their expectations
  • Have your children donate to charities (i.e. donating toys in good condition) or help out organizations who help the less fortunate. This allows them to appreciate what they have and learn the joy of helping others.
  • Ensure you spend some time outdoors whether it is a walk in the park or tobogganing or skating– don’t forget the hot chocolate for afterwards! 
  • Play board games/electronic games or other activities together inside. Spend some time in the kitchen preparing together family meals or treats.
  • Plan to visit with friends and family but try not to overschedule the children.  They mainly want to spend time with you. Also let your extended family know what your plan is.

Remember that most often people are disappointed because they expected something different than what actually happened. Keep your expectations realistic and it is likely that you and your children will have a better Christmas as a result.

Children have the ability to see the joy in the simplest things. Be a child yourself! Have fun and enjoy the season!