Doing Christmas when you have divorced requires delicate handling, even if your children feel reasonably okay with the situation. But holidays aside, if your kid is not keen to visit or spend time with the other parent, the regular routine of visitations can be extremely challenging and painful for all involved.
Showing aversion to the other parent is a natural response for children after a divorce. The key is managing their feelings in a way that paves the way for future healing. If you’re struggling as a family with a child who doesn’t want to see the other parent, here are three constructive approaches to help you manage the situation.
Get Professionals Onboard
Let’s face it, divorce can get messy. Financial conflict and spite shouldn’t be your child’s problem, but they are all-too-often thrown into the mix. Unless you bring in outside help, you could inadvertently hinder your children’s attempts to reconcile with your ex. It can be helpful to your kids if you make every effort to keep conflict away from them. Family Law Solicitors can help manage the financial side, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on your kids. A divorce mediator could help your child find ways to work through their resistance to the other parent. Sometimes bringing in a neutral listener who all parties can trust and feel comfortable with can be a massive help when it comes to managing potentially harmful conversations and navigating this painful time.
Make Room for Your Child’s Feelings
While witnessing your child’s raw feelings may not be pleasant, it’s crucial to give your child the room they need to express what they’re going through. Encourage them to open up about the pain and anger they are feeling. Let them know that you believe their feelings are important and legitimate. If your child doesn’t feel comfortable opening up verbally, encourage them to seek other forms of emotional outlet, like craft, journaling or drawing.
Model Forgiveness For Your Ex
If you want your child to forgive your ex, it’s essential that you model forgiveness for them. While you might interpret your child’s reaction towards your ex as being an expression of their own pain, it’s crucial to recognize the possibility that they could be playing out the hurt and anger that they sense in you. Now is not the time to hold a grudge. Rather, examine how you act towards your ex, and how you speak about them in their absence, and encourage an atmosphere of mutual respect and forgiveness. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it will help your kid see that hurtful actions committed in the past can be forgiven and that painful wounds will heal.
Whether your child is refusing to stay over at your ex’s place at weekends, or they simply can’t stand to be in their company, these tips will help you put your child’s feelings first and work through some of the hurt at this difficult time.