Divorce is never easy on anyone but when there are children involved, the whole process is made much harder. If the separation was not amicable, deciding on custody can be a real nightmare and the holidays a truly trying time.
However, whichever situation you find yourself in – joint custody, sole custody or just a few days during the holiday season – it’s vital that you make the most of this time that you get to spend with your kids and really bond with them. Keep on reading to see why this is so important and get a few ideas on how to do it.
Why Is Creating This Bond Essential?
Being a single mom is not simple – we all know it. However, in addition to all the other challenges you might be facing, it is quite possible that you do not have a chance to spend enough time with your children. Perhaps you are working two jobs to make ends meet, perhaps your ex-partner has custody and you don’t get to see them that often. Whatever the case might be, you should use the holiday season to really create a strong bond.
The most important reason to bond with your child, regardless of their age, is to show them that divorce is not the end of the world. Explain to them that they are no less loved just because you and your former spouse no longer live together. You are both still a huge part of your kid’s life and you will do anything for them. In case they’re having a hard time, try to soften the blow by telling them that they will be celebrating all the holidays twice and get twice as many presents.
Also, depending on how the marriage ended, you can try and still spend the holidays together – just make sure your kids understand that this does not mean you are getting back together with your ex. However, be aware that you might encounter some custody issues during the holidays. If this happens, do your best not to burden the kids with it as you want to ensure they have fun and see that life continues as before.
On the other hand, if their other parent is completely out of the picture, it’s vital that you show them that they will still get the same amount of love and support. They will in no way be alone or neglected as you will do everything in your power to make sure they are properly taken care of. Plus, this time of the year is great for creating everlasting memories with your little ones (no matter how little they actually are).
What to Do to Strengthen This Bond?
Luckily, there are so many activities you can do with your kids that will help you strengthen this bond. For example, if you like traveling and you get permission from the other parent to do so, there are so many places you can visit. In case you like skiing, you can easily find a family-friendly resort and go have fun in the snow.
If sightseeing is more your cup of tea, you can take a relaxed road trip along the U.S. East Coast and visit cities like Boston, New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia (for more information visit Globerouter website). Just don’t forget to prepare appropriately for the weather as the winters can get pretty chilly. On the other hand, if you’d rather avoid the cold and enjoy the sun, you can look for a spot that is warm even during the holiday season.
In case traveling is not an option, don’t worry – there are still plenty of interesting hobbies you can take up with your children. For instance, you can teach them how to cook. Spending time with their mom in the kitchen is definitely something they will cherish forever and remember every time they make that special family recipe.
You can start with some simple dishes and have them help around by peeling and chopping veggies and then you can move on to some more elaborate and challenging meals. If cooking is not your forte, you can perhaps give gardening a go. Just because it might be cold outside, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take care of some indoor plants together.
Finally, if your kids are too young, you can also have movie nights and watch all their favorites. You can teach them how to read or simply read them the stories they love most. This will surely evoke some emotions and help you connect with your child. Other ways to spend some quality time together include playing various board games and doing art.
Not getting to spend a lot of time with your kids can be really hard for anyone, which is why you should make sure the holiday season is full of great moments they will remember forever. Have deep conversations to help them realize that their life will not be that different after divorce and that they are still the most important person in your life and you will be working towards creating an ever-lasting and unbreakable bond.