first_imgParentstop, a free and confidential parent support service in Donegal, is asking separated parents to put aside differences and work together to ensure this Christmas is a special time for their children. The group says Christmas can be challenging for separated parents and children often feel stuck in the middle.Arguments and hostility between parents can harm children, leaving them anxious, withdrawn or unhappy. Parentstop Manager, Patricia Lee, said: “Hard as it may be, try to put your child at the centre of your focus at all times. Put yourself in their shoes and see what it looks like and feels like from their perspective.“Picture yourself in one year time answering questions they might have about how you were as a parent. How would you like that to be? What memories would you like them to have? What is best for them?“Make arrangements that suit your child’s life as well as yours and above all deal with your differences as adults, away from the children”.Parentstop Support Staff at Parentstop have put together a number of tips on co-parenting during the holidays: -It is important for both parents to be involved in their children’s lives, and parents should work together to ensure this happens at Christmas. Try to put the pain of the separation aside so as to plan for a Christmas that allows both parents to show their love for their children.-Respect your children’s relationship with your former partner (and their new partner if they are in a relationship) and your in-laws. Avoid speaking negatively about them in front of your children, and do not use your child as a go-between or to find out about your former partner’s life.-Barnardos advises parents take a shared parenting approach, meaning “sharing the responsibility as equally as possible from the time of separation”. At Christmas, this might mean agreeing a plan to how each parent will spend time with the children over Christmas and how decisions will be made about presents and Christmas costs.-Don’t ask your children to make decisions that force them to choose between their parents.-Listen to any concerns your children have about Christmas and the shared parenting arrangement. Talk to your former partner about these concerns, and remind your children that both parents are there to support and care for them. -Avoid buying expensive presents as a treat for your children after the separation: spend quality time with them instead.-Remember grandparents and the wider family during the holidays. Because of a separation, they may not get to see their grandchildren (or nieces/ nephews) as often as they would like. Try to put differences aside and to ensure your children spend time with all their relatives.-When things go wrong: You might face unhappiness, anger or aggression from your children. You may not get to see your children as often as you like. One parent may miss visits or break the shared parenting agreement. If you are facing these problems, continue to offer your children support and love, and try to stay positive. If you want to talk, Parentstop can offer you free and confidential support.Further information and support: Barnardos has published a series of advice booklets for parents, children and teenagers dealing with separation. A lot of the information is available for free at is a free and confidential parent support service in Co. Donegal. Parentstop is here to help with any parenting challenges you are facing.If you want to ask a question, talk to someone in confidence, or see if you’re on the right track, then Parentstop is here to support you. There are no long waiting lists and the Parentstop team is available to talk to you once you make an appointment.With services in Donegal Town, Letterkenny and around Inishowen, one of our Parents Support Officers will meet you, listen to you and give you support and advice. Whatever your concern – let’s get it sorted together.If you have family concerns and would like to speak to someone from Parentstop please phone:074-9177249 for Letterkenny and surrounds074 9373493 for Inishowen areas086-8494038 for Donegal Town and surroundsParentstop is closed from Friday December 21st to January 7th 2013, however a call back can be arranged over this period if you leave a message. In addition parents are reminded about the national parent’s helpline Parentline on 1890927277.You can also email [email protected] for more information.DONEGAL SUPPORT GROUP ASKS PARENTS TO PUT ASIDE DIFFERENCES FOR CHILDREN THIS CHRISTMAS was last modified: December 12th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:arguingCHristmasParentstoplast_img read more