Christmas is soon upon us and from speaking with people it seems to be very much like Marmite – you either love it or hate it.
But when you are going through a divorce or have just been through one, it can be one of the most difficult and challenging holidays you will have and for your children, one of the most confusing times too.
So here are somethings that you could do to make sure that they are all right, to make sure that they enjoy this time as much as possible.
- Let them know exactly what the plans are during the festive season, i.e. who they are spending the holidays with, where and how. If they are spending time with your ex and you don’t know what the plans are for them, then let them know this too but if you can get this information for them then do so and pass it on to them. It’s all about alleviating any anxieties and worries they may have at this time by preparing them in advance.
- You could arrange for the children to have an “early” Christmas with the parent with whom they will not be spending their holiday time with. They could replicate what they would have done were they to be together including opening presents etc. Rituals are important practices to mark occasions and giving the children this time with the other parent provides them with a time to practice this ritual and with both parents too albeit at different times and different locations.
- Not the best time to introduce a new partner. That you are now divorced or separated and it’s their first Christmas living in this new world, will mean that your children will need time to adjust to this new life without the added complication of adjusting to a new person in their life.
- Prepare yourself to hear that one of their wishes is to have mummy and daddy back together if only for a day and prepare yourself for them to make efforts to achieve this goal see here
- Don’t make the children worry about you or feel guilty that they are not with you over Christmas by telling them how lonely you will be. Look after them by telling them that you will be fine and that you have plans etc. If you don’t have plans then make some. By all means do tell them that you will miss them not that you will be lonely without them.
If you are worried that your child is or has been affected by the divorce or separation then do contact me on +44(0)7850 85 60 66.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families and is the author of “When Love is Broken. A read-together book for children and parents going through divorce and separation.
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org