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Child's drawing depicting a sad Mum and Dad following Divorce or Separation

Valentine’s Day for Divorced Families

February 12, 2024

For divorced or separated families, Valentine’s Day can be a complex emotional landscape for children. Amidst the commercialised focus on romance, children might grapple with mixed emotions: confusion about parental relationships, sadness about missing a parent, and perhaps even anxiety about their own future relationships. As parents navigating this delicate terrain, here are some key ways to support your child and help children navigate Valentine’s Day with love and understanding.

Acknowledge Their Feelings

Validate their emotions, whether it’s sadness, confusion, or even excitement about celebrating with different people. Openly discuss their worries and create a safe space for them to express themselves without judgment.

Reassure Them of Your Love

Emphasise that their parents’ love for them is independent of their relationship status. Let them know they are loved and cherished, regardless of Valentine’s Day celebrations.

Focus on Family, Not Romance

Shift the focus from romantic love to celebrating love in all its forms. Engage in family activities like baking cookies, making cards for loved ones, or volunteering at a local food bank and highlighting the value of broader connections.

Communicate Effectively with Your Ex

Discuss how you will handle celebrations. Will your child spend time with both parents? Consider creating alternating traditions or sharing photos and videos to ensure they feel included in both celebrations.

Avoid Putting Pressure on Children

young girl worried about divorce with paper chain family

Don’t expect them to choose sides or feel obligated to celebrate with both parents. Respect their preferences and allow them to express their affection in ways they feel comfortable with.

Be Mindful of Social Comparisons

Talk to your child about the unrealistic portrayals of love and relationships often seen around Valentine’s Day. Help them understand that everyone expresses love differently, and their family’s situation is unique and valid.

Focus on Individual Strengths

Encourage your child to explore their own creativity and express their love through activities they enjoy, like drawing, writing, or playing music.

Seek Support if Needed

If your child struggles with overwhelming emotions or anxieties, consider seeking professional guidance from a therapist or counsellor experienced in helping children navigate divorce and complex family dynamics. Make your child’s class teacher aware if they are struggling.

Remember, every child reacts differently to divorce and Valentine’s Day. By offering open communication, unconditional love, and positive alternatives, you can help your child navigate this emotional period and celebrate love in a way that feels safe and meaningful for them. Valentine’s Day for divorced families does not have to be ignored.



  1. Unique Valentine's Messages From Kids to Parents | Parenting Expert - […] message, adding a personal touch and visual expression of their love. Remember, the most meaningful Valentine’s Day messages are…

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