3 responses to “PARENTING TOGETHER APART: Home Alone for the Holidays”

  1. MACServicesGroup

    Thank you for sharing this great article Brette. I agree with you that the key to getting through the holidays successfully without your children is planning ahead.

  2. Brette Sember

    Kids take their cues from their parents. If one parent cries, moans, and has a fit, the child is going to affected and react similarly. That doesn’t mean you should be disingenuous. It’s ok to say I’ll miss you – in fact you should, but you don’t need to rend your clothing and weep. Just as I often suggest parents practice self-control when talking about the other parent (even if you hate his guts, remember this is your child’s parent so maintain a level of politeness), this is another situation where it pays to think about the message your’re projecting. In some ways, I know it feels good to see evidence your child will miss you (what parent wouldn’t want to know that?) however, think about what you want for your child. Do you want him to feel happy, secure and confident that he’s not hurting anyone or do you want him to feel in the middle, knowing he is causing one parent to be very upset? This is all about finding a careful balance. We’re all human and I know that first holiday away from your child is very hard, but I think it is possible to make it pleasant for your child – and then have 2 hours with a tissue box and a pint of ice cream in front of the tv to cope with it yourself.

  3. Jackie Dishner

    I’m wondering what you have to say about how parents can make this more of an issue than it ever needs to be. I mean, in terms of how the child feels about the challenges. A child might not even be affected if the parents can find a way to not let it be that big of a deal. Not sure how realistic that is, because holidays are meant to be spent with the entire family. But I do wonder how much of this adults create ourselves. That’s probably because I have a friend who absolutely does not like when her children have to take time away from her during the holidays to be with their dad. She’s getting better, but she still doesn’t like it. She won’t say this directly; it’s just always hinted at. So what’s a child, young or not, to do?

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