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Peace for children of separated parents at Christmas



Christmas is just a few weeks away and my ex is again fighting me about the holiday access schedule. I keep trying to come up with something fair and my ex keeps nibbling back the time. Right now we are deadlocked. I think our kids should be exchanged at 1:00 and my ex thinks 2:00 on Christmas Day. I don't want to have to go to court over this but fair is fair. How do you get your ex to be reasonable?


My heart goes out to your children. On the one day of the year their memories should be on the joy of Christmas, their thoughts will be torn between parents where an hour's difference is made to be the end of the world.

In situations such as this, children typically grow up to reject both parents.

These are the children that by the time they can escape home, they are quickly living on their own and the parents have no ongoing relationship with them. In other words quibbling over the hour at Christmas when children are young, runs the risk that parents will lose out on an adult relationship with them. After all, the parents will have built no decent memories of supposedly positive memorable times. Rather than concentrating on what is fair between parents, you must concentrate on what is fair to children.

To be fair to your children, give them a Christmas free from your unresolved strife with their other parent. In the scheme of things, if the difference in the Christmas Day changeover time has been whittled down to an hour's difference, let it go and give your children the best Christmas gift of all - one where the parents concentrate on peace for the sake of their children.

A peaceful Christmas between conflicted separated parents is the best Christmas gift of all.


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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
(905) 628-4847  


Gary Direnfeld is a social worker in private practice. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider Gary an expert on child development, parent-child relations, marital and family therapy, custody and access recommendations, social work and an expert for the purpose of giving a critique on a Section 112 (social work) report.


Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.


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20 Suter Crescent, Dundas, ON, Canada L9H 6R5 Tel: (905) 628-4847 Email: gary@yoursocialworker.com