Christmas is traditionally a time for families to be together. This can heighten emotions, especially loneliness if you are single as the focus is on happy families at this time of year. It can really highlight the fact that you don't have that special someone to share it with and that can be hard to deal with.
It's so important for parents, especially single parents, to have a strong and reliable support network around them, you can go through months without 'needing a friend' but when you do it's so reassuring to know that those positive role models are there waiting in the wings to come and be wonderful influence on the boys.
In the run up to Christmas most working parents will have already planned their Christmas leave, but taking time off is the easy part - what isn't so easy is making sure you have enough things planned that make the Christmas holidays fun for the whole family (especially if this year you're having a 'staycation'!)
"I don't think my dad ever loved me." This is the statement I hear my clients repeating time after time. It's irrelevant who says it, men or women, although it is more common coming from women, given that an unhealthy relationship with their dad, i.e. 'Key Male Figure', tends to reflect in their relationships
I think we often underestimate the benefits that pets can bring to children. I often reflect about how my two boys benefitted immensely from our lovely cat Charlie - sadly no longer with us. He was an elderly stray cat we adopted and he showed them how you had to be tolerant and respect a pet's needs. In return Charlie offered devotion and a listening ear when life was 'unfair'.