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A broken relationship with your significant other can be devastating. However, in the eyes of a child, splitting up can be equally as heartbreaking. Though divorce tends to put children through considerable emotional turmoil, it’s how you handle your relationship with each other, even when you are no longer partnered, especially during the holidays. Here are some tips on maintaining balance with your family this holiday season, in spite of a dissolved romance.
According to American Psychological Association, at least 40-50% of married couples end in divorce in the United States. However, you can still maintain a sense of mutual respect. In fact, it’s vital that you get along because your children will always connect the both of you.
When it comes to parting ways, forming a new relationship and no longer sharing household chores, it’s a given that you’ll now lead two separate lives. However, gift exchanging, weekend visits with your children and holiday extra-curricular activities will mean that you’ll have to communicate with each other often. Though Facebook, Skype, and emails are modern forms of messaging one another, confusion often takes place, which is why you may want to obtain clear boundaries on behalf of the child.
Consider Your Child
While most children often feel as though their world has ended after finding their parents are divorcing, studied indicate that kids quickly bounce back and lead healthy lives, according to Scientific American. Though some children go through the motions of shock, resentment, anger, and sadness, only a small of amount of children suffer long-term adverse effects.
Since the holidays can potentially stir up old memories and loneliness in newly divorced couples, maintain an air of calmness so that your children aren’t affected by negative behavior. Though you may need to blow off steam, never do so in front of the children. Talking ill of the other party may cause remorse on your child’s part due to the lack of understanding, regarding the relationship between the both of you.
Make the Most of the Holidays
The holidays are a time to employ gratitude, love, and community. You can create a sense of normalcy by sharing holiday fun with your children instead. Frolicking in the snow with snow angels, snowball fights, sitting by a warm fire while sipping hot cocoa, writing greeting cards, or walking around your neighborhood on a crisp evening to view lighting displays are memories that your children will cherish forever, despite the separation.
It’s also crucial that you practice self-care often so that you are better prepared to deal with the stresses of being a single parent. Fun holiday activities are great anxiety-relievers for yourself and your family, but getting some alone time helps you process feelings, relax your mind, body, and spirit and boosts your self-esteem.
Talk To Your Kids
In the midst of all the activity, talk to your children. Get a sense of how they feel about the divorce and ways you can cope as a family. Your children already have enough stress to deal with, so show them you care by explaining the reasons for the uncoupling. Though some topics, especially for little kids, can be difficult, such as abuse, you may be general or further explain, especially when it comes to love and drifting apart.
Allow your children to express their feelings, be it anger, resentment towards the both of you or temporary sadness. Help them work through their emotions with a therapist, a trusted friend or keeping just between the family. Whichever way you choose to go about employing coping mechanisms, make sure that it’s done so in a healthy, thoughtful way.
Divorce is never easy. When it comes to your children, carefully strategizing how you will allocate your time while conserving regularity, will encourage a closer relationship, a joyful holiday season and a brighter future.
By Alexis Hall