INfamous times together!

Establish rituals with your child.  Rituals help children adjust to new situations and are helpful when transitioning to a new situation or setting.  An established routine help the children and the parents to feel safe and secure.   Create a ritual that offers comfort to your child (and the parent too) and helps in the adjustment process.

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Real Life Experience

Our Thing

INfamous times together.

See how this parent created a meaningful ritual for her and her daughter following the divorce.

This parent was sensitive as to how difficult therapy sessions were for her 10-year-old. She came up with a way to make that part of the divorce process less traumatic.   Mom thought of the idea of visiting the coffee shop near the therapists'  office following the weekly sessions. Each week they visited the same place.  This became their thing.  

Going to any coffee place would not work.  They had to go to that coffee shop and enjoy their hot chocolate.

In essence, this ritual offered a sense of constancy following something that was emotionally delicate.   While the topic of the divorce was rarely discussed, the consistency of the ritual provided security for this child.  Going to therapy included a positive moment of bonding and enjoying hot chocolate together.

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Take home message:

This could easily include ice cream, pizza or another favorite food of your child.  

Suggestions for establishing your own rituals:  

Go on a quest to find 'the best' hot chocolate, ice-cream, pizza.  Have  the same drink/food/treat at a different place.

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Real Life Experience

Special Moments

INfamous moments.

Creating special times my be realized years later as with this father and daughter.

This father and daughter saw each other on a regular basis from the beginning of the divorce.  

Each time, the first stop they made was at a park near their home and school.  For years, this was their pattern. After starting high school, the park took a back seat to other activitites.  One day as they were driving by their park, the daughter commented that this (the park) gave her a warm feeling inside. She noted that "I always knew our time together was starting when we were at the park."

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Take home message:

Life is made up of special moments.  Sometimes, the simple things stay with us.


 

 Real Life Experience

Traditions

This shows the importance of maintaining traditions.  

Visiting the park was something this parent and child did on a regular basis prior to the separation.  Playing on the slide was the favored activity.  Following the divorce this dad and son continued to visit the park near their previous home and enjoyed time together. 

Years later, during a heart-felt talk with his father, this son recalled how the visits at the park helped him feel that “everything was normal –like before the divorce”. 

Going to the park was a fun and memorable experience.

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Take home message:

Children’s lives are made up of experiences. 

Children thrive on routine. 

Maintaining the consistency of activities from before the divorce create normalcy for your child and the parent/child relationship.