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Treoir’s 12 Tips For Shared Parenting @ Christmas

Generic Infant Child Playing With Building Bricks

This Christmas Treoir are publishing their 12 Tips For Shared Parenting at Christmas, one tip per day, with the fifth one coming out tomorrow. The first four tips are really practical, useful and clear. Well done to Treoir for providing this excellent guidance to those who are attempting to co-parent this festive season, and who may be finding it difficult.

Society has changed over the decades, and single or unmarried parents now make up a large percentage of the population (see stats at the bottom of this page). One organisation that represents those very families is Treoir, which basically is a federation of organisations which provide specialist information, raise awareness on issues affecting unmarried parents, and campaign for change.

Formed in 1976 under a different name by various agencies and organisations, Treoir aims to combine the efforts of these institutions to improve the overall quality of services provided to unmarried parents and their children. Member organisations include Aislinn, Barnardos, Bessborough Centre, Clarecare, Coombe Women’s Hospital, Cúnamh, CURA, Doras Buí, Foróige, Health Service Executive (HSE), Home Start, Life, Limerick Social Service Council, Mary Immaculate College Students Union, Miss Carr’s Housing Association, National Maternity Hospital, PACT, Rotunda Hospital, Sligo Social Service Council, St. Anne’s Day Nursery, St. Catherine’s Community Services Centre, St. Patrick’s Guild and The Base Youth Service.

The first four tips are below, and you can check out this TREOIR page as the rest of the tips are added daily.

Treoir’s 12 Tips For Shared Parenting @ Christmas

Tip 1: Plan Ahead

Christmas can be a difficult time for parents who do not live together. If you have not already negotiated arrangements start planning them now. Try to agree a schedule of dates, handover times and places well in advance. Think about what is easiest for your child/ren and what order zolpidem from mexican pharmacy will be least disruptive for them. Try to find a way that means everyone gets a bit of what they want.

There are some things you may need to work out – can both parents be together when the children open their presents? If not, when and how will you give them their presents? If either or both of you have a new partner, will/should the partner be there? There are no ready-made answers to these questions – each family needs to work out its own solutions and this will take time. Where possible, avoid holding any difficult Christmas planning discussions in front of the children. Your children are the ones who are most important and whether they are with you or not, you want them to have a happy Christmas.

Tip 2: Be Constructive

Ideally it would be great if the two of you could sit down together to work things out. While it may be difficult, try to be respectful, positive and flexible with the other parent. Be co-operative for the sake of the children. It will help if you focus on what will make the holiday period go well for the children. Remember your children are the ones who are most important. Whether your children are with you or not, you want them to have a good Christmas.

Tip 3: Tell the Children what is happening

Children need information on the arrangements. Changes or cancellations should be explained well in advance. Listen to your children and take their opinions and suggestions on board but let them know that it is you, the parents, who make the decisions. Remind them that you only want to do the best for them. Tell the child/ren that you are happy for them to see the other parent. Speaking well of the other parent ensures that the children feel loved by both parents and can feel free to love both of you as parents.

Tip 4: Remember there are twelve days of Christmas

Whether or not you are seeing your children on Christmas Day this year, you need not focus completely on the day itself. Children recognise the importance of a continuing relationship or link with both parents, no matter how distant. Make this year your opportunity to spread the fun out over the whole holiday. If you can’t be with your children on Christmas Day, perhaps they can be with you on St. Stephen’s Day. Or maybe you could have a Christmas celebration at your place on Christmas Eve or on New Year’s Eve/Day. You could suggest that you alternate Christmas Day, and therefore arrange now, and look forward to having the children next year.

Check out this TREOIR page – The rest of the tips are added daily…

Statistics: Lone/Unmarried Parents In Ireland

Unmarried Parents

Census data indicates that there were approximately 629,116 family units in Ireland with children under 20 in 2010. Of these:

– 140,658 were lone parent families representing 22.4% of all families with children under 20
– 127,651 were to lone mother families, 20.3% of all families
– 13,007 were lone father families, representing 2.1% of all families

There were 979,590 children under 15 living in the State on Census night of whom 138,533 were living in one parent families (14%).

Cohabiting Families

There were 57,671 cohabiting couples with children under 20, representing 9.2% (7.5% in Census 2006) of all couples with children under 20 in 2010.

The number of children of all ages living with cohabiting parents increased from 74,500 in 2006 to 104,665 in 2010, representing an increase of 7%.

Christmas is coming and for unmarried parents not living together it can be a difficult time, especially for the parent who will not be spending Christmas with the children. Starting from Monday 9th December, we will have a ‘tip of the day’ every day for twelve days. The tips might help you get through a potentially stressful time.

This data was taken from the TREOIR website

IMAGE: Generic Unidentified Infant Child Playing With Building Bricks – image credit: D Sharon Pruitt/Flickr

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