Guest blog submitted by Anne Haris on Friday, May 3rd
How Can Widows Help Their Children Move On
Losing a spouse is a major turning point in everybody’s life. However, this loss becomes even more difficult when you’re still young and you have little children.
Now one person has to cope with all the things that used to be shared by two people.
When you become a widow, you have to find a way to get hold of yourself because of your children.
We’ve put together four crucial tips that can help you overcome the emotional loss and take proper care of your children.
1) Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Even when you think that you can deal with your everyday obligations alone, it’s better to ask for help. First and foremost, you should include your parents, siblings, and relatives in your children’s life.
In line with that, they can pick up your kids after school or kindergarten once or twice a week. While they’re staying at their place, you can prepare meals for a few days in advance. Apart from that, you can do the laundry or simply take a nap to renew your energy.
Also, if your siblings or close friends have children, as well, you can spend weekend afternoons with them. For instance, kids can play while you can have a coffee and discuss all the important things that have happened to you during that week. It’s a convenient way to share your thoughts with someone dear in a relaxed and practical way.
2) Set a firm structure for your kids
It goes without saying that showing love is essential to bring up a satisfied and happy child.
However, if you offer your kids only emotions without a firm structure, they might have problems when they face real life.
What’s more, childcare experts always emphasize the importance of structure for successful upbringing. For instance, every certified Norland nanny insists on discipline and a regular daily schedule for children.
So, if you teach your children to establish a regular daily routine from an early age, they’ll be more likely to manage their time successfully when they grow up.
This structure and routine will turn out to be extremely helpful if you have to look after them on your own.
For starters, it’s useful for them to wake up and go to bed at the same time. Also, make sure that these hours match their age. For instance, when they’re five years old, they can go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 7am.
But when they’re 13, you should show flexibility and let them go to bed a few hours later.
Apart from that, it’s vital for this structure to organize their time at weekends, as well. If you allow them to stay outside for three hours, tell them that they should both study and help you with the chores.
That way, you’ll set a model by which they’ll be able to learn.
To top it all off, when you and your kids have a clear structure in everything you do, it will assuage the impact of the emotional loss.
3) Make plans together
It’s essential for every widow to always show her children that they aren’t alone in their grief.
Still, if you insist too much that you want to help them in everything they do, it might have a
counterproductive effect. This is even more obvious for widows whose children are teenagers.
What you have to do is choose subtle, indirect methods to stay close to your children.
One of the most efficient ways to do that is to include them in your plans.
What’s more, you should make plans together. Let them know that their ideas are equally important to you as yours. Instead of telling them “We’re going to Mallorca for holidays”, you can ask them where they would like to go. You can tell them what budget you have for the holidays and then you can search together for the most convenient destination.
When you’re planning your activities together, you’ll spend some quality time with your kids.
Apart from that, you’ll show them that you respect their opinions. This is something every teenager finds important.
4) Avoid making radical changes
Overwhelmed by the feelings of sadness and grief, widowed spouses sometimes think that making a radical change will improve their situation.
Some widows and widowers sell their home and buy a new one because they think it will be easier to live in a new place.
Others even move to another place, thinking that it will help them move forward.
But if you have children, it’s recommended to avoid making radical changes after an emotional loss.
First of all, you will change the established structure and routine. This could have a negative effect on your children, especially if they have to change their school.
Secondly, sudden changes can affect your finances and slash your budget. Since it’s imperative to maintain financial stability after losing a spouse, it’s best to postpone making any huge decisions in the aftermath of such a tragic event.