Stepfamily Holiday Survival Tip #7:
If your kids do have to travel to visit their other parent, don’t whine about it. Family ties are important to all children, but especially so for children of divorce. After spending all year in a new home with new family members to adjust to, your kids probably will feel relieved to be back around familiar faces. Let them.
One mother said that her feelings about her kids being gone for Christmas could be summed up in one word: Hallelujah! It wasn’t that she didn’t love her kids, she did very much. But she chose to look at this as her court–appointed vacation from them. At first she felt guilty about enjoying their absence, but, she says, she realized that they were having fun, so she might as well, too. Now, while she looks forward to their phone calls and their return, she plans special times just for her husband and herself.
Don’t fret or obsess about their being gone. Enjoy the free time; schedule some time just for yourself at least every other day.
When plans are being made for your kids’ or stepkids’ visit away from home, look for positives about the trip. Make sure you don’t make them feel guilty about wanting to see their parent. You are not in a contest for whom they love the most. They will always love both of you. You wouldn’t really want kids who can hate their father as much as you do, would you? They might practice on you!
It should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that you should take care to never — ever — put down your ex or your spouse’s ex in front of their kids. Never tell your children how awful you think their Dad or Mom is! First of all, you wouldn’t want them to hear the same sort of thing about you. And secondly, regardless of how you feel about him, he is still your kids’ daddy. To belittle him belittles them, in their eyes.
BLESS your children. Help them have a care-free, fun, enjoyable holiday season. If you can’t be happy about it, keep it to yourself or share it with your mate where your children can’t hear. Give them the gift of a happy Christmas season.
– – – – – – – – – – –
[NOTE: this is an excerpt from our guide book, Beat the Holiday Blues.]
You are NOT alone! We love you and we can help.
God bless your whole, wonderful family,
STEPcoach Bob Collins