If you are a divorced mom, you will be facing Father’s Day this weekend. Unless your custody agreement prevents it, your children should spend Father’s Day with their father if possible.
Children need to know that they are loved by both parents and are free to love each of their parents without fearing that they will upset the other parent. So encourage your children to spend Father’s Day with their father. Even if you can’t stand their father, don’t make them feel guilty for wanting to celebrate with him.
Make the day special for your children. Help them make a card or buy a gift. Better yet, help them make their dad’s favorite cookies as a gift. Help them come up with ideas about how to spend the day in case their father doesn’t have any ideas. Do these things with a cheerful attitude, and your children will feel better about spending the day with their father. They will know that you are okay with it and happy for them.
Promise yourself to avoid all conflict on Father’s Day. Don’t make negative comments if their father shows up late. Put a smile on your face and make sure that your children know that you want them to be happy and have a good time.
If Sunday is not their father’s scheduled visiting day, consider granting it as a bonus day! It will make everyone happy. If their father normally gets just an hour or two, consider extending it so that they have ample time for their visit. That will reduce stress for your children and resentment by their father.
If their father lives in another city which is too far away for a visit, find other ways to help your children celebrate Father’s Day. Try to arrange a video chat using Skype or other video system, so that your children can see and talk to their father. If that’s not possible, help them make a phone call to their father.
If you have remarried, the children also have a stepfather to honor. Depending on the circumstances, the children may split time to celebrate their father and stepfather. If they don’t spend the entire day with their father, then there will be time later in the day to celebrate with their stepfather. However, if they will be spending the entire day with their father, create a second day, a Stepfather’s Day, just for their stepfather. You could make it Monday, or the following Saturday or Sunday. Avoid a competition. Both father and stepfather can have their celebrations with the kids without making them feel guilty or torn about who to spend time with on Father’s Day.
While the children are with their father, do something that you enjoy. Luxuriate in the tub, go for a hike, take in a movie. Treat yourself to some fun. And pat yourself on the back for putting your children’s happiness first.
Divorce is hard on children. Be supportive of your children on Father’s Day because it will make them happy!
New Direction Family Law