The holiday season can be a difficult time for people in the throes of a divorce. The questions that come from well-wishers can become annoying, just like the prying questions from your soon-to-be ex-spouse. With all the emotional trauma that comes with a holiday split, parents sometimes forget that children can be affected as well. After all, the season is supposed to be special, and they may not feel as if they can enjoy it if their parents are not well. Moreover, they may feel as if the divorce is all their fault, which can make the season that much more difficult for them.
Fortunately, there are a number of things that divorcing parents can do to help their kids avoid the emotional pitfalls that come with divorce.
Don’t try to buy love – Some parents may feel that they owe their kids lavish gifts because of how bad things may be because of a divorce. However, it may be best to resist the temptation. Time with your child is more valuable than a hefty gift card.
Manage your emotional health – Kids are going to be okay as long as they know that you’re okay. This means that you must take care to maintain your emotional health. Indeed, sad days are expected, but you still have to be a parent and an emotional leader for your children. So get help if you feel that you need it.
Tell them that they matter – As we mentioned before, kids have a unique ability to feel like the divorce is their fault, or that they do not matter. By telling kids that you love them, you can combat those notions.
Source: HuffingtonPost.com, “Making the best of this pre-divorce holiday season,” Bari Zell Weinberger, November 22, 2013