Parents who share parenting should start planning their Christmas arrangements now

Parents who share parenting should start planning their Christmas arrangements now

Wednesday 22nd of November 2023 

“Parents who share parenting time or share access and custody should plan their Christmas arrangements with the other parent in plenty of time before Christmas.”

“In Treoir, we really understand that sharing access and custody at Christmas can be incredibly stressful for parents, children and the wider extended family when parents do not live together and haven’t spoken about their arrangements.”

“We encourage parents to not avoid the conversation and to plan their Christmas arrangements as early as possible. This will allow both parents to be able to talk to the children about their child’s wishes, allow parents enough time for both to feel heard, to agree on all aspects of the plan, and then communicate the plan together, to your children” Damien Peelo, CEO of Treoir, said.

Communicating the plan with your children is often overlooked but it takes away the anxiety and uncertainty for the children in the days running up to Christmas. If the children know when they will spend time with both of their parents, their stepsiblings, and their extended family, they can then relax and enjoy the weeks running up to Christmas.

When parents are in conflict, even if not in front of the children, the children often realise. This can increase feelings of guilt and apprehension at a time of year when the only thing both parents want is for children to enjoy themselves.

“My son’s father and I have been sharing parenting for many years. We struggled initially but we’ve been reaping the benefits for years. We’re now at the stage where we celebrate big events like Christmas together as a blended family and we look forward to it” a mother who is sharing parenting with her son’s father in a blended family tells Treoir.

“At our house, myself, my son’s father, our son, and our new partners and their children all celebrate as one family,” she said.

“My advice to parents who are struggling with starting the journey of shared parenting – remember that sharing parenting reduces conflict for you and your kids, therefore your stress.”

“We are all going to face stress and parenting challenges in life – and it makes things so much when things come up that more conflict is avoided. Instead, you and your child’s parent are on the same team and supporting the family together.”  the mother said.

Treoir would strongly encourage parents to consider the following when planning together with the other parent: what is in the best interests of the child, what does the child want, will this change the normal access arrangements, what about other days for access over the entire Christmas holidays, what compromises could be made (such as phone calls with the other parent), Christmas presents, when will the child see their extended family.

“Children will know if parents are in conflict over the arrangements. This can create feelings of apprehension or guilt for the child when both parents want their child to enjoy themselves. To avoid this, as well as any additional pressure on the parents, Treoir recommends that parents try to come to agreements as soon as possible” Damien Peelo said.

“As much as possible, work together with the other parent and be open to finding compromises.”

“Remember that children will be able to relax and be kids more, once they know that they’ll see everyone important to them over the Christmas period. When everyone in the family is on the same page it will hopefully ensure that it’s a fun, relaxing break for everyone.”

From everyone at Treoir, we hope you enjoy your Christmas break!

Christmas Opening Hours

  • Treoir’s Information Service is available to any parents looking for information on (01) 6700 120 or 10 am – 4 pm Monday-Friday.

  • We will be closed from 4 pm on Friday 22nd of December until 10 am on 27th of December.
  • We will also be closed on the 1st of January.
  • Our normal service will resume on the 2nd of January.


For press requests, contact Sinéad Murray, Communications Officer at Treoir : / 085 850 4710.  

Treoir is a membership organisation made up of 26 different organisations around Ireland. See the complete list here: