How To Communicate Effectively During The 2021/22 Holiday Period

Are you going to ignore arguments during this holiday period or shut down? Discover better ways to communicate during the 2021/22 holiday period, especially if you are navigating COVID-19 lockdowns.. or dealing with border closures, days of no activities because of torrential rain, or you are just feeling flat.

Try to keep yourself healthy and hydrated and do your best to keep your energy levels up. Get some exercise, and avoid long stints indoors. Avoid eating fried foods, junk food, sweets, and alcohol in an attempt to deal with pressure, it will just do the opposite.

One of our parents recently experienced a stressful divorce, and the kids were caught up in the split. For anonymity reasons, let’s call this parent Anthony. Anthony emailed our office 6 months later, thanking our office for recommending an app for better communication. Anthony’s email said something like this:

“Hi Luke, and the Shanahan Family Law team. I just wanted to say a big thank you for recommending the free not-for-profit app. The Human Improvement Project. ”In Love while Parenting” and “The Happy Child App”. I’m not usually one for these kinds of apps, but I have to say they have brought so much love to my family and daughter. Thanks for recommending such a great resource. Regards, Anthony (one happy parent).”

Sometimes all it takes is a shift in the way you think. If you haven’t already downloaded the app, give it a go here.

The holidays are just around the corner. For some parents, it means planning new festivities, managing in-laws, and buying presents. For others, even just thinking about the holiday period can cause extreme grief and stress leading up to these events.

Holidays occur every year, which makes it crucial to have a good parenting agreement in place. Having one will prevent added stress during these holiday periods. This is even more important in today’s climate of COVID-19 and snap lockdown decisions.

Parenting Plans or Consent Orders for holidays

So where do you begin? The first step for parents who already have Consent Orders  or Parenting Plans is to go back and review it when disputes arise. It is important to remember that the written agreement is not for your benefit, but for the children’s benefit. The order or plan will set out who the children will spend time with. It will likely detail where the changeovers will occur, and what level of communication there will be between a parent and the children.

Children often carry the weight of their parents’ arguments on their shoulders. While they may laugh and carry on, deep down they may be experiencing some fear or guilt. The upcoming holiday period will result in further arguments between the two people they love the most.

Parenting orders and plans are the foundation of a good co-parenting relationship. It is important to remember that they are being implemented as a tool to successfully coparent and move forward with what is in the best interests of the child.

Most orders or plans include language like “as agreed between the parents in writing, failing which…” or “unless otherwise agreed between the parents.” This means that if your order or plan includes this line, you and your co-parent have some flexibility. The flexibility to come up with an alternative to what is provided for in the order or plan. If there is no agreement, then the order or plan must be followed.

Another good way to manage this period is to use a good co-parenting app. A parent recommended the Coparenta App to us or read these 12 reviews of the best co-parenting apps. They can take the stress out of having to organise your time over such a busy holiday period. Let’s face it, these times are supposed to be fun. If anything is going to make it easier, then why not give them a trial?

Communicating change over yhese Sunshine Coast holidays

The best way to come communicate is to give the other parent sufficient notice and reason, especially if a change to the order or plan is being requested. During these times of COVID-19, it is useful to adopt a more flexible communication approach. Even more so with snap lockdowns being ordered or where states are re-opening after a long time. Most importantly, though, it is respecting the decisions of the other parent. When the other parent declines your request for change, you need to respect any existing order or plan. While it is not always easy to hear ‘no’ it is important for the future of your co-parenting relationship to respect the existing agreement that is in place. If this agreement is no longer reasonably practical, we recommend contacting our Sunshine Coast Shanahan Family Law office. We offer a free 15-minute case assessment.

Talking about family traditions

Prior to separation or divorce, children became accustomed to spending the holidays together as a family. Can you co-parent at a level where you can effectively communicate about the children? If you can bring up past holidays, try to discuss how the family celebrated holidays in the previous years and how you can carry the tradition forward. It is also worth considering any views the children have expressed and how much weight is placed on those views.

As discussed above, the use of a parenting application such as Our Family Wizard and a calendar application such as Time Tree are useful in assisting parents with communication and being on the same page. They can assist parents with communication and being on the same page.

At Shanahan Family Law, we can assist you with compliance. We can prepare varying court orders, or work through an existing agreement, or prepare a new co-parenting agreement. For us, it’s easy, and it’s something we like to do for you. We would like to make the transition as seamless as possible.

5 practical communication tips for the holidays

Communication is the oxygen of any relationship, whether that be romantic, co-parenting, or a relationship with your children.

As far as possible, your children need to see and hear that you can co-parent effectively and with respect.

To avoid conflict or confusion, the following three simple but practical tips will assist your communication with the co-parent:

  1. Do not discuss adult matters or future plans in front of your children.
  2. Do not use your children as messengers.
  3. Keep your children’s best interests at the forefront of your mind.
  4. When co-parenting, remember that you are doing this for the wellbeing of your children.
  5. Start learning more and download an app like the Human Improvement Project 

Whilst these five (5) tips may appear simple, they go a long way towards cementing a positive path forward. They will help you avoid pitfalls in the future. Communicating effectively leads to a happy partnership.

Communicating effectively leads to a happy couple

Local sunshine coast destinations bound to make you happy

Looking after yourself and staying positive and focused is the key to any successful co-parenting relationship. We live in such a beautiful place, the Sunshine Coast, and it has so much to offer. Local Sunshine Coast destinations are bound to make you happy.

We repeatedly say, if you’re going to have a difficult day, the Sunshine Coast is the best place to be. From Noosa to Maroochydore, Buderim, Caloundra and everything in between, there are so many places to explore. Visiting places like the Buderim Forest Waterfalls, Cotton Tree Maroochydore, for the kids, the Maroochydore Sunshine Plaza High Ropes Course, or heading further north to Hasting Street Noosa.

No matter what you have planned, making the effort to get outside is good for the mind, body, and soul. Explore some of the destinations above and start lifting your spirits. Go on visit some of these amazing coastlines we have here on the Sunshine Coast.

From the team at Shanahan Family Law Maroochydore, we wish you a happy and safe holiday period.

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