As hard as it is for you, divorce is more incomprehensible to your children. It can be even more difficult to deal with during the holidays. Emotions during Christmas can run high, and it is important to address these emotions when you can. When addressing their concerns, it is best to follow these three rules.
How to Address Emotions During Christmas
Avoid the urge to over-explain. Simply state what the Christmas schedule will be. You cannot predict how your ex will handle the day, nor can you predict the future. When you are anxious and uncertain, it is common to over-talk. Over-talking is confusing for everyone. You deliver your best message when you are brief.
Share all the information you have that will satisfy your children’s curiosity. Do not discuss information that does not contribute to their well-being.
If your divorce is final or in the process of being finalized, then there is no room for your children to negotiate or debate their wishes. Open your heart and forgive their neediness. Forgive yourself. Accept your situation and keep your heart open.
Being a cool mom or dad does not mean you are hip to the latest trends. Be cool in your emotional temperament. Your friends, therapist and divorce coach know the real deal. With them you are free to talk about your emotions during Christmas. They know you are hurting and need to express your feelings.
Your life experiences understandably have rattled you. For the sake of your kids, keep your hot emotions contained. Just as your child will pull back when they touch a hot surface, they will also run from you when you are fuming mad! When you are cool, you have the clarity to truly witness your children and their joy. Life is easier when you are emotionally cool rather than running hot. Your kids will love your cool approach to Christmas!
Your kids crave your sense of calm amidst the storm. Because you are facing this Christmas divorced, you are in a stressed state. Your child will react to your unease. Instead, you can choose to be the calm at the center of your emotional storm. When you remain calm you earn your child’s trust. No one wants to lean on a person who may be explosive at any given time. Your kids need you now this Christmas-time.
Anchor your emotions to calm and go with the flow. A secret to staying afloat in calmness is to pause and breathe when faced with a parenting situation that may trigger you. In order to successfully take this pause, you must be aware that you are triggered.
Notice how your body feels. Do you feel your heart race or face get flushed? When you feel your body react, then you know it is time to zip your lips. Choose to be silent, pause, breathe, and get centered in calm. You have access to this peace at any time you desire it. Your kids crave your calmness and it will reassure them as they navigate through being children of divorce.
It is understandable that being divorced and celebrating Christmas is a time where you may feel a loss of confidence. After all, who are you now? You are no longer part of the partnership that was your marriage. Where do you fit in? Do you even feel single? Christmas festivities are no longer a joint effort with your former spouse. Keeping your children in mind, it is time to be confident despite the newness.
Even if you have never cooked a holiday meal, you have reserves of success. You are confident and competent in other areas of life. Rely on these strengths and expertise and go for it! Cook that traditional meal. Grab a step stool and get that star on top of your Christmas tree. You can do it! Your show of confidence will provide reassurance to your children. They can rest assured that if you are okay, they will be too! Watch how your children express their confidence as yours shines upon them.
Stay grounded to the foundation of who you are. Your foundation may be your spiritual beliefs or the anchor of your own upbringing. Feeling connected and grounded contributes to your sense of purpose. You have a choice to behave in a way that is cool, calm, and confident. Imagine how you want to be this Christmas. Stay connected to that vision. When you are in alignment with your best self, you are projecting that certainty to your child.
Your personal connection with your best self allows you to be present with your children in a powerful way. If you focus upon what could have been or what should have been then you are resonating from a place of lack, regret, and guilt. Your thoughts and feelings are evident to your child in your body language and tone. Honor your children and stay connected to your foundation. Your child craves your presence and wholeness more than anything that lands under the Christmas tree.
Contain your emotions as you dash through divorce this Christmas. Be cool, calm, and connected. Monitor your feelings and your words and bring your best self to the Christmas festivities. You’ve got this!