Oh Pandemic, What Challenges Have You in Store This Holiday Season for Separated Parents and Their Children?
Covid-19 fatigue isn’t even the half of it.
There are those who may be without work or worse, without shelter of their own. In the midst are their children and they, between separated parents.
More challenging still if those parents hold different views as to the nature and effect of the virus. Conflict may abound.
- Article Continued Below -
To Our Newsletter
There is a stark truth to these situations. The holidays won’t be as hoped for.
As always though, while children may feel the pang of parental conflict or the loss of expected rituals or gifts, the degree of their discontent may also be reflected in our discontent; how we as parents respond.
Children often look to their parents to see how they are coping, how they are interpreting the situation.
As the parent appears at peace and accepting of circumstances and remains caring, loving, compassionate and empathetic, so too may the children feel more secure and more at ease. Yes, we may grieve, but so too we may accept.
It’s true we will feel poorly for these circumstances. Accepting versus getting caught up in dismay, anger or guilt, can help our kids see, appreciate and come to understand the nature of resilience.
Resilience – the capacity to overcome adversity.
There will be nothing fair in some people’s lives through this. There will be only opportunity for growth.
That growth though, resilience, can be a gift beyond measure.
Life being life, we do not always get what we want. There is loss. There are things to grieve. Throughout though, we seek to thrive.
So after you have exhausted reasonable efforts to make the best of the situation, we then must make do with what is left.
That gift, this unintended bit of learning, can stand your children well for their years to come, for while we wish them well, we know life does have its challenges.
Our gift is enabling them to get through it, as shown by us.
With that, we survive.
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW is a Canadian Social Worker in private practice. He is recognized from his 65 episodes of the hit show Newlywed/Nearly Dead, to over 650 columns as the parenting expert of a major metropolitan newspaper, to more than 350 media appearances, to his book, Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout Canada and the US and helps family peacemakers grow their practice.