Maintain, Dismiss or Reshape?
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Over the last ten years, a lot has changed in my family. My parents got divorced and my families were separated. Traditions have become something I strongly hold onto and still do. These moments are about togetherness. But after marital separations, traditions and the definition of ‘togetherness’ change.
Almost all traditions change after marital separation.
Traditions are of great value for children. They form a strong basis, give structure to their daily lives and offer security. After marital separation traditions can be very meaningful. They can offer comfort against the chaos that arises in unpleasant events during separations. But almost all of the traditions change after marital separation. Most of the times due to new partners or negative emotions. These changes take place, but should not remain unspoken. Discussing changes can help children to accept new situations. Because family dynamics will change and new togetherness will bring new challenges.
Together with mom, dad, mom’s family, dad’s family, new partners, half-siblings, new family members.
During my research project, I used colour-coded stickers to analyse my own family traditions. This sticker process helped me to reflect on my own feelings and struggles while our traditions changed or disappeared. By using stickers I could now access my feelings and struggles easier and could speak about my own experience as a child of a separated family. I transformed the stickers process into a tool that will help other children and parents to talk about how they experience a change in tradition.
This tool offers a safe environment for divorced families, one-parent families and composed families. The family will choose a tradition and select photos they want to discuss and sticker. The tool focusses on the individual experiences and their experience as a family. Scenario cards help them to talk about future events that can influence their tradition.
Talking about changes will become a new tradition.
Do you have a question or are you interested in the tool? email@example.com