December 8, 2016
Monthly Misconception for December – “It’s impossible to create fun and joy for kids when a divorce is pending.”
Holidays are stressful times for all parents despite your marital status. There are high expectations for joyful get togethers, exchanging of gifts and feelings of gratitude. Families are coming together rather than shuffling children from one household to another.
These “joyful” feelings are difficult to experience when you are in the midst of feeling loss, anger, guilt, loneliness and confusion.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the tension this time of year, especially if past years were celebratory and plentiful.
How can you, then, minimize the tension and disappointment during this time, while being true to yourself and supporting your children.
1. Be mindful of your negativity toward your ex and try to curb it. This will make it much easier for your children to continue to love both of their parents. Think of this as engaging in a “season of peace.”
2. Have some fun with your children and on your own. You are allowed to have some relief even though you are processing a lot of difficult feelings.
3. Start a new tradition with your children that helps them see that connection is still important and that you are thinking about how to make the holiday special for them. Ask them if they have ideas of special things they would like to do.
4. Maintain some of the traditions that were anchoring for your children like decorating a tree, or attending church or other house of worship or volunteering for a charity.
Tell yourself that you will be in a different place when the holidays roll around in one year and be kind to yourself in your struggles. Your children will be grateful to you that, even though many aspects of their lives have changed, you tried your best to continue to make the holiday special for them.
Thank you to Wendy Levin Peterson, RN, MSN, APRN for this month’s “Misconception of the Month”. Wendy is a nurse practitioner, psychotherapist, and psychopharmacologist who helps adults by providing them with appropriate psychotherapy and sometimes medication. Wendy is also a trained collaborative divorce coach. You can reach Wendy at 860-231-2381.
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