What to do When Your Child Misses Mom (or Dad)
By Daddy Nickell
When you are a divorced parent, you’re undoubtedly going to run into tricky situations from time to time. Often, children will miss the other parent in-between visits, and when this happens you’ll need to have a plan and know what to do to ease the transition and comfort your child. I’ve put together three tips that’ll help you do just that.
- Freedom of Expression: It’s perfectly normal for your child to be sad and miss the other parent while spending time with you. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you and it doesn’t mean they love the other parent more than they love you. So, first and foremost – don’t get frustrated and try to squash or limit their expression and emotion. Allow your child time to feel sad and be there to comfort them while they do it; they need that. Be ready to say things like, “You’ll see Mom on Monday,” or even allow your child a phone call to the other parent if necessary.
- Keepsake: Make sure your child has a keepsake from the other parent that they can carry with them, hold onto, and snuggle at night that reminds them of the other parent. This could be a photograph, a special toy or stuffed animal, or an item of clothing. Whatever it is, it will be a comfort to your child when they miss the other parent. Be sure your child has something of yours or from you as well that they can carry with them while they’re apart from you. Chances are your child is missing you while spending time with the other parent, too.
- Communication: Talk to your child about their feelings, where you ask questions and spend time just listening. You’ll likely be surprised by the things they tell you, and listening will allow you the opportunity to have a greater understanding of what your child might be going through internally. Look for kid-friendly books and television shows that discuss divorce and share those with your child, so they know they’re not alone in all the chaos.
Remember to make the most of the time you get with your child, as it may be limited. Your child missing the other parent shouldn’t take away from the time you get to spend with them. If anything, you can help them through this change and build a bond that will last a lifetime.
Good luck, you can do it!
Parenting Expert and father of 7, Robert Nickell (aka Daddy Nickell) offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddy & Co., delivery room duds and daddy gifts and apparel for every stage of fatherhood, and the Daily Daddy Blog. He is also the creator and producer of “My Life as a Dad,” the groundbreaking new web series that showcases celebrity fathers offering their personal experiences and parenting tips.