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Georgina's Blog



December 2020

Two homes, two sets of presents?

The new buzz words that are being used in the family law/mediation industry is cooperative parenting - rather than co-parenting. The former stressing the importance of working with and supporting each other even if you tend to do things slightly differently. Christmas offers many opportunities for conflict all over again - which parent has the children for the 'important' bits of Christmas, which parent undermines the family traditions, which parent uses presents to 'buy' the children's time/affection? At the root of all of this is often a sadness and nostalgia for what has gone before when a family was together at this most family minded of times.

So my suggestion is to be courteous. Be mindful of how the parent who is not with the children might feel at Christmas. Make it easy for children to be in touch with the absent parent, especially if Covid has altered or reduced the plans. And rather than an arms race of presents, consider discussing together what the children actually need or want and team up to supply that. A newly, madly keen goalie needs gloves and a football; a budding ballerina would love a sparkly tutu and the special shoes and tiara that go with it; a bookworm might love a new Kindle and a small library with it.

Unified present giving sends a really strong message that you are both parents who can work together for your children. It also dissipates the competitiveness and comparison around presents and may well save you a ton of money. Give it a try!