Post-Divorce: Preparing for the Kids' Holiday Anger


Holidays can be a very emotional time, especially for post-divorce kids. As a single mom, how can you help your kids deal with their emotions in a healthy way?

When holidays hit, everything that’s been stuffed all year seems to come to the surface. Holidays just have a way of doing that.

One emotion that often surfaces is the children’s anger. For many, there is a loss of security and a sadness that life as they knew it is no longer. Routines have changed. Traditions have changed.  When I was a brand new single mom, my first Christmas without Jason and Sara’s dad in the house created all kinds of unsettled emotions in us all.

But moms, guess what? You’re the leader of the pack – and you can help diffuse those bottled-up feelings in your child’s heart. As difficult as these might seem, they will help relieve the tension for everyone.

Encourage the children to talk about wonderful past memories. They need to deal with their own feelings. Often they don’t know how to do that. Though it might be hard to hear, listen. All of us feel better after we have voiced what is really bothering us.

Keep the lines of communication open. Ask the kids what family traditions they would like to keep and brainstorm about new ideas. Plan scheduled fun nights, and let them decide what that event looks like.

Don’t take it personally. Guilt gets you nowhere. Beating yourself up over something that can’t be changed causes an avalanche of harm. You’ve got motherly work to do! If you’re a follower of Christ, receive God’s unconditional love and forgiveness and move forward.

Bring the Christmas story to life. Place a Nativity scene in the children’s bedroom. Ask questions: Was Mary angry that she traveled to Bethlehem nine months pregnant on a donkey? Were the shepherds mad when the angels appeared announcing the birth of Jesus? Bring Christ into their own emotions and always conclude these conversations with prayer praising God for His faithfulness.

Moms, stay ever so close to Jesus during the holidays. His power in you is sufficient to give wisdom, relief and direction for every emotion. Your strength to overcome is in Him.

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