Top tips for the holidays from relationship charity

Denise says it's important to include the whole family in summer holiday plans            Picture: Relate
Denise says it's important to include the whole family in summer holiday plans Picture: Relate
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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.

Here are some tips on staying happy:

n Whether you’re going on holiday or staying put, it’s important to plan together as a family. Make everyone feel involved in plans and keep a chart with everyone’s top wishes on it.

n 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.

n 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.

n If you have time off work, try to make sure it’s really time off. Try not to check e-mails or work phones and really focus on enjoying time with your family.

n 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 barbecues, where parents and children from different families can get together.

n 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.

n 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.

n 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 Portsmouth’s non-judgmental services support individuals, couples, families, children, young people and friends of all ages and backgrounds and sexual orientations. Call (023) 9282 7026 or email reception@relateportsmouth.org.uk for advice or to make an appointment.