Featuring Guest Blogger: Michelle Peterson
If the dark cloud of divorce is looming over your Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone — many single parents struggle with it. It might seem like the love-themed holiday isn’t for you now that you’re on your own, but that’s not true. Your children provide a lot of love in your life, and that's certainly something worth celebrating. Here are a few Valentine’s Day ideas to bring your family together.
Build something together
Spend the evening putting together a model airplane, car, puzzle, or playing a board game. There should be a wide variety of options at the neighborhood craft store and dozens more online. Choose a project that’s appropriate for your kids’ ages and abilities,. You can make your own or act as a helping hand when they need you. Munch on some Valentine’s cookies as you work and turn on some music to keep the mood light and fun.
Add some personal touches to your home
Your child might still be acclimating to a new environment following the divorce or may still be struggling to understand why your partner is no longer at home, so use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to offer love and comfort. Let your child decorate their new bedroom, or give them a new special chill area to personalize and call their own. Your family has faced some major changes, so it’s important to reinforce the idea of home for your child. Make sure you let them know that you love them and that you’re always there to talk. And if they can’t find the words to express themselves, their new room or chill spot can be their place to decompress.
Make a scrapbook
Scrapbooking is another way to help your children feel more grounded following a divorce, especially if there was a major incident of infidelity or addiction. If they’re feeling disconnected from your ex-partner or from the family in general, it might help to put together a scrapbook representing the good times — family vacations, holidays, birthdays, etc., but you can also make a book that looks forward. Help your child create a dream scrapbook full of hopes and aspirations for the future, and make your own too. Spend your Valentine’s Day celebration focusing on your love for each other and taking positive steps toward building your new life together.
Bake, indulge, and relax
Arguably the best part of Valentine’s Day is the food, so ask your kids to help you make some tasty treats. If you’re trying to improve your diet, there are plenty of low-fat and healthy choices. Baking allows you to teach important life and math skills and bond with your family in a unique way. If your children don’t always get along, it’s a great project for them to work on together towards a common goal. End the evening snuggled up on the couch, watching a movie or reading together.
Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a drag following divorce, but if you know how to reshape the way you see it, it’s the perfect chance to spend special 1:1 time with your children.
This article features the writing of Guest Blogger, Michelle Peterson. Michelle is passionate about sharing stories and information to inspire recovering addicts, and the rest of the community. She has been in recovery for years, and believes the journey to sobriety should not be one of shame, but of pride. For this Valentine's day, she hopes to inspire others to appreciate themselves, and the people they love more during this time.