Relate Nottinghamshire’s tips for summer holiday survival

Relate Nottinghamshire says that relationships are often already at crisis point by the time people come to them in September. School holidays, enforced jollity at rainy seaside resorts and financial pressures are just some of the reasons that summer can be the final straw. Some couples head straight for the divorce court, with family lawyers also experiencing a rise in the number of new clients at this time of year.***

Relate Nottinghamshire wants to encourage anyone with concerns about their relationship to get in touch before things head into real difficulties. They say that, whilst it’s never too late to ask for support, the earlier you tackle problems in your relationship, the more likely you are to overcome them.

Relate family counsellor Denise Knowles said: “Most of us look forward to the summer holidays. But if you’re already having problems in your relationship then the pressure of juggling work, keeping the kids entertained and spending concentrated time with your partner might tip things over the edge. Tempers can get frayed and families can end up counting down the days until September begins. By the time schools re-open, some relationships are in a pretty bad state.

“We’d suggest seeking help at the earliest possible stage rather than leaving it until things get to crisis point. Even if you’re getting on alright now, there are some simple things it could be worth doing to ensure you make it through the summer with your relationship in a good place.”

Relate Nottinghamshire’s tips for summer survival:

• Plan together. Whether you’re going on holiday or staying put, it’s important to plan together as a family. Make everyone feels involved in plans and keep a chart with everyone’s top wishes on it.
• Make hay while the sun shines. Make the most of what’s special about summer. Go for family walks during those long warm evenings, or arrange a picnic. Also, look out for free or cheap music events and summer schools arranged by local authorities.
• Turn down the heat. Arguments are often a part of family life, but take care to diffuse tensions before things get too heated. If your children are arguing, ask them to go into separate rooms and ‘take five’. You can do this too if you’re getting wound up.
• Switch off. If you have time off work, try to make sure it’s really time off. Try not to check emails or work phones and really focus on enjoying time with your family.
• Reconnect. It’s common for parents not to see their friends as much as they used to, especially when children are very young. But summer provides a chance for reconnecting as there are lots of activities, like weddings, fetes and barbeques, where parents and children from different families can get together.
• Check in. Make sure your luggage isn’t the only thing you check in this summer. Talk to your partner regularly to find out how they’re feeling about themselves, the family and the relationship. You can then catch any issues early on and address them together.
• Keep things sizzling. During the summer, older kids are often out doing their own thing, so this is a good opportunity for investing some time in your relationship with your partner.
• Seek support. If things aren’t going swimmingly, relationship counselling could help. Don’t leave it until things have reached rock bottom to get in touch with Relate.

Relate Nottinghamshire’s non-judgmental services support individuals, couples, families, children, young people and friends of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations. Please contact 01159 584278 to find out more or to book an appointment.

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