Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sharing the kids can be painful this time of year

Sharing the kids can be painful this time of year
Rachel Bryant

This is an article along the lines of my post Happy or not - the Holidays are here.
Excerpts:

1.) Don't forget that your relationship with your children will always be more important to them than where they spent the 25th of December in 2005. Long after the holidays are over, it is the loving bond between parents and their children that sustain them and provide a model for the kind of parent that they will one day want to be.

3.) Focus on what you can do, rather than what outside interference has taken away. What do you want your children to take away from this season? Is it the family time together, the joy of opening presents Christmas morning, or the spiritual message of the season that is important to give your children this time of year. All three of these can be accomplished regardless of visitation schedules. Again, it may not be your first choice, but if the message vs. having it your way is the priority for your children, than all can still be accomplished.

As for spending time together, use the time you have to make holiday moments with your children. Kids' memories of what Mom or Dad did for the holidays are not bound by a date. Special decorations, traditional songs, shopping sprees, family recipes, or new traditions are still all yours for the making.

4.) Take special care of yourself this season. While we all can get exhausted with work, family, holiday demands, etc., the parent who is struggling with the painful reality of family separation has an immeasurable additional burden. One of the best ways you can help your kids to get through this change, even if it is not the first year, is to let them see you take care of yourself. Use your family, friends, prayer, hobbies, therapy, exercise, work, a massage, a manicure, or all of the above, to bring yourself moments of comfort, sustenance, and peace. You have a right to your deep feelings and reactions to what has happened, and you need to take care of them.

And remember, it is ultimately your love, and with that love your lessons for your children, that they will take with them forever.

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