- Family and Parenting
How to Cope with Christmas for Divorced Families
Divorce, Children and Christmas
Divorce is unpleasant for everyone, especially your children. A family being torn apart has many devastating consequences on each member of the family and at Christmas, that is when everyone feels it the most.
Children of divorce lose their security, safety and trust after their parents get divorced and once a home is broken, lives change completely.
It is up to the parents to ensure that the children still feel as though they are a part of a family even if it is divided and although it sounds difficult, it can be done with patience and the understanding that your children need you now more than ever.
Let family in to give you the support that you all need and remember that Christmas as a seperate entity is unpleasant and lonely.
The anger and the hurt, the pain and devastation of a divorce, can be forgotten during the festive season with a few helpful tips.
Be Active Parents During Christmas
There is nothing worse than hearing the news about your parents divorce, knowing that they are no longer going to be together and your family will never be the same again. Divorce is ugly and for many children, the destruction of a family divided takes its toll.
Children of divorce become insecure and learn not to trust anyone but you can prevent that from happening by ensuring that they will never feel that their family is completely broken.
How could you possibly do this? It is a difficult challenge that will take patience and strength but in order for your children to feel whole and a part of a unit, then it needs to be done.
Both parents should come together to discuss how Christmas will be spent, whether you take turns in having the children or you choose to be a family during this time, will make all the difference to them.
Let your children know where they stand and inform them that they will be with both parents on Christmas day.
It is so important to let them feel that they are loved by both of you, no matter what problems you have faced as a couple. They need to know that your break up is not their fault and that the family will always be family, despite the divorce.
Let Go of the Anger
It is extremely difficult to forgive and forget but that is what makes us human!
The reasons for your divorce is between the two of you and should not include the children. They need two parents to guide them through life and they also need to feel loved by the both of you. Christmas is a great opportunity to show them that life will not be so devastating and that even though their parents are no longer together, the family will always be a family.
Your parents and in - laws need to support you in this difficult time and regardless of who did what to whom, you all need to consider making things secure for your children.
Let go of the anger during the season and set aside one hour together as a family with in- laws, parents, you and your ex, along with the children just to let them understand that family is important and things might be rocky but Christmas can be the time you all come together as a family.
It is a challenge to have the person that you have hurt or has hurt you sitting at a table pretending to be happy just for the sake of the kids but it is very important to your kids, this you have to keep in mind.
Take one hour of your day to either be together on Christmas morning or perhaps for a lunch with the entire family.
It sounds unrealistic with what you have been through but always keep the children in mind, without compromising your own security.
There are a few ways to cope with divorce during Christmas and if you follow these steps than you might secure your childrens future.
Do it for the Kids
Could you be strong enough to see your ex for the sake of the children?
Steps to Cope with Divorce during Christmas
No matter which way you look at it, divorce and Christmas does not make sense. Some people want a divorce as a Christmas present, while others wish to be together and many want to be far, far away from their ex! Children want both of their parents in the same room at Christmas, they want to feel normal and they need to feel the love from both parents.
Having to give up the fight for the sake of your children is a difficult challenge but it can be done if you do a few things to make the day easier for all of you.
Step 1 - How to Let go of the Anger
As much as you want to hate your spouse or soon to be, your hurt and all the problems that have led you to this point needs to be forgotten for just one day.
You have already gone through so much and giving up one hour of your time for the sake of the children, is not really that big a deal as long as you have support with you.
Just put into your mind that you have already faced so much pain and hurt and to avoid your children feeling the same way that you do, Christmas for an hour as a family is important to them.
Forget about the problems and the pain and think of your ex as a person that means nothing to you. It sounds weird but if you need to be in the same room together than this is a good way to do it. Allow yourself to feel absolutely nothing, don't think of the good times or the bad, just think of the hour that your children will smile.
It is not long and concentrate on the children without making conversation with your ex.
Do remember that children can feel animosity so you do need to put a smile on the dial and fake it.... which I am certain you have done before.
Step 2 - Let Your Loved Ones Support You
In order for this event to take place, you do need to let your family know that it is important for the children to feel like the family is alright and they all need to understand that.
Your in - laws and parents, brothers and sisters, need to keep to themselves for the time that you and your ex are together with the children.
Try to convince them to get along with the ex just for the time being, in order for the kids to feel the comfort from both parents and both sides of the family. In time, this could become a regular event for the sake of your children.
Get a neutral member of the family to make the arrangements so that you do not have to have a battle before the actual day arrives. Let the family member explain that it is safe ground where nobody will be discussing anything but Christmas and the focus is to be on the children.
Yes.... it is extremely difficult because all you can think of is to have a drink or six before he or she arrives but it will make everything worse, so wait until your hour is over and then you can drink yourself into calm.
Drinking will only make you think of the bad things, the good times and the hurt will come out even if you don't plan it that way, it will just make things worse.
Don't Talk to Your Ex
By not talking I don't mean pretend that they are not there because that will just make things awkward for everyone. I mean do not talk about issues in your divorce, don't bring up anything other than the children. It might be difficult but bite your tongue just to keep your kids happy and remember that the minute you see your ex, find a happy place and think of the good Christmas memories. Once you have let your ex into the house then concentrate on your children and have a good look at the expressions on their faces when they see mom and dad standing together.
Find the Strength
Strength can be found in the eyes of your children and you can also think of all the hurt, pain and suffering that you have already been through, to get through this day.
Why would you put yourself through this? For your kids!!! Simple, not for you or your ex but for the kids.
Think of them and how much damage has already been done with the divorce and allow yourself and your spouse to put aside differences just for one day or one hour for the sake of letting your children have some peace and a sense of security, love and the feeling of a complete and whole family for at least once a year.
Your battle is not their battle and your feelings do not have to be their feelings. Get up, get dressed and remember that you are doing this for your children and it will take extreme courage and strength but you have come this far already!
Divorce Gets Easier
Divorce gets easier on everyone but during the first phase, children need to know that their parents will always be their parents and Christmas is a good way to ensure that they will feel the love from both parents.
It is difficult but it is worth it in the end because you both brought these kids into the world and it is not them that decided to get a divorce but the two of you. Don't make your kids suffer by preventing them from seeing a parent, especially during the festive season when family is so important to be around.
Find your strength for just one day, half a day or even for half an hour and once the deed is done, you can go back to being angry and you can take time out to cope with your own feelings.