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Sarah’s top tips for planning your summer holidays if you are separated or divorced

The school holidays are nearly here, and it is time for you to work out with your ex how you are both independently going to spend time with your children.


This can be amazingly stressful, and that is why having a clear plan in place can minimise the stress so you can concentrate on enjoying time with your kids.


Here are my top tips to help you:


  • The goal is to plan ahead and communicate with your ex.

  • Think about how you would like it to work, and then propose this to your ex.

  • Ensure that your proposal is realistic, and clear with dates and times, this will avoid conflict.

  • It may be a negotiation process, so the sooner you start the better.

  • It is important to remind yourself and your ex, that it is your children’s needs and happiness that you must put first.


2. By planning well ahead of time, ensure that you communicate with your ex any previous arrangements either of you have, and these are taken into consideration when drawing up the holiday schedule.

  • How do want to feel?

  • What do you want to see?

  • What do you want to hear?

  • What is it that is important to you about these plans?

Early planning will ensure, that if either one of you wants to take the children out of the UK the necessary written permissions can be given, and passports can be provided by the holding parent.


3. Have a precise plan as to when and where the handovers will be, to ensure that you all feel comfortable and it is convenient for you both, and the children.


It is vital to remember that you should both want this to be as easy as possible, to ensure you and your children are relaxed, it is a holiday and time to make precious memories and not to turn handovers into an opportunity for conflict.


4. Remember how you handle your summer holiday negotiations; what you say and how you behave will set the path, for how your future relationship with your ex will be.


How you negotiate this will set the way forward for how you handle future similar issues when it comes to parenting planning.


I want you to feel, that you have handled it with dignity, and come away feeling you have put your children first, after all, that is the most important thing.


5. If agreeing on the holiday plans is causing conflict, try looking at it from all perspectives.


Often if we look at a situation from another’s perspective it can help us see things with more clarity.


Let us first look at how you are feeling:

What do you want to achieve, what is your goal?

Imagine you are your child.

Really associate with how you are feeling as your child

This could be you, seeing your children having fun, laughing, and most of all you all enjoying being


Now shake yourself off and put yourself into the shoes of your ex:

Imagine you are them


  • How do you feel?

  • What do you want to hear?

  • What is important to you about these plans?


Now shake yourself off and put yourself into the shoes of your children:


  • How do you want them to feel?

  • What do you want them to hear?

  • What is important for them?


Now imagine you are looking over all of you from above:


You can see, hear, and feel what you have all communicated.


As an onlooker what do you notice and what is the one piece of advice you would give them?


Now you have taken the time to do this exercise and taken in all the information from the three perspectives:


  • What have you noticed?

  • How have your thoughts and perspectives changed?

  • What have you learned?

  • How can you use these new insights and perspectives to discuss your plans with your ex?


By doing this exercise, it will help you to see that you all want the same things!

6. Think about what you can control and not what you cannot.


  • You can control the tone of how you enter these negotiations

  • You can control what you say

  • You can control your behaviour

  • You can control your emotions

  • You can plan to do something for you when your children are with your ex


However, you cannot control the behaviour of your partner!

7. Concentrate on making the time with your children count.


  • It is all about the quality, not the quantity.

  • It is all about making new memories.

  • Take time with your children to talk, about what they would like to do with you.

  • Try new things, take lots of photos, and make a summer memory board!


Remember it does not have to cost the earth, it could be a picnic in the park, or a plan to go and feed the ducks, it is the time together that counts!

Remember the goal of a summer co-parenting plan is to take minimise the stress and optimise the joy!


I hope my top tips help you, and I wish you a great summer holiday full of love, laughter, and happy memories!


Sarah x


I am Sarah Steele, an Accredited Breakup, Separation, and Divorce Coach as well as a Master Practitioner. If you require assistance in creating a co-parenting plan for the summer holidays, I am here to support you.


Why not book a free Discovery call, via my Calendly link via my website:


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