The marriage may now be finished, but chances are you and your ex are just getting started when it comes to the new reality of navigating holidays with your children. Trust us, it can be done successfully! With Father’s Day coming up soon, we think it’s the perfect time to learn how to honor the holiday amicably and appropriately for everyone. Check out these five tips to celebrate dad when you are divorced.
- Work out the schedule – If Father’s Day actually falls on a day the children are with dad, great! But if not, work together to adjust the schedule so they can spend the day with dad. It may involve swapping days entirely or simply making time in the day for dad to enjoy quality time. If for some reason being with dad on Father’s Day isn’t possible, at least plan for a video chat and then celebrate the day in-person as soon as you can.
- Be open with the children – Emotions may still be raw if the divorce has been finalized recently so it’s important to let your children know what to expect for Father’s Day this year ahead of time and that it’s OK to be sad about it feeling different. Also make sure you reinforce that they are still very much loved by both of you and that you each respect each other’s role as parents.
- Create new traditions – Beyond talking with the children about how Father’s Day will be different from years past, you can also use this as an opportunity to get them involved in helping to create new traditions with dad. Don’t push the issue if they aren’t comfortable, but if they’re game this could be a way to feel like they have some control over their new reality and can give them something new to look forward to.
- Help with gifts – Regardless of how you feel about your ex; your kids are still going to want to give dad a gift and helping them do so would set a great example. Not that you have to go all out or anything – maybe offer to be a sounding board for ideas from older children or helping younger children to make a present. Dads can help too, perhaps by suggesting another relative or close friend to help if necessary.
- Go with the flow – Again, if this is the first Father’s Day after divorce it’s natural for everyone to feel some sadness, loss and even anger. There’s certainly no need to try to stuff down those feelings, but instead of dwelling on them, do your best to look forward and make the day special. Above all, never let your children feel guilty about the time they spend with the other parent.
If you find yourself struggling with co-parenting challenges after your divorce, we’re here to help! Our experienced team offers fully virtual coaching and mediation services. Contact us today to learn more or for a free consultation.
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