Father's Day is right around the corner. It is a family holiday where we celebrate what we love about our dads. However, if your family is impacted by divorce, Father's Day can be stressful. We want to encourage mom's this year to be a model for their kids. If you want to teach your children to value other people, then show them how it is done. Take a moment and make an effort to help your kids celebrate this day with their dad. How you interact with your ex-spouse is setting an example for your children in how to treat others. Father's Day is a day to honor dad. It is a sign of respect if you are involved in the process, even if it is in small ways. So what are some things you can do to help your kids celebrate their dad?
- Communicate with your ex spouse about the day. Let them know you are helping the kids plan something. This demonstrates to your ex-spouse that you can put your feelings about them aside and do what is best for your children. It will also reduce his stress and worry about what is going to happen that day.
- Go with your children to purchase a card or gift or help them make a card or gift. This is another teachable moment. The value of a gift or card is not in how much it cost. The true value is in the thoughtfulness, the consideration of the other person. Sit down with your kids and see what they want purchase. If it is out of your price range then give them some other options that are similar. Work with your kids to find the right thing for dad. This effort will pay off as you also show your children what it means to care about a person.
- Allow your children to spend time with their father on that day, even if it isn't his day to have the kids. Visitation schedules can be flexible. You can trade weekends or another day if you go out of your way to make sure your kids are with their dad on Father's day.
- Be positive. Attitude is something that kids pick up on right away. Think of at least one good quality of your ex-husband and focus on that while you help your kids. This lessens the tension for your children and allows them to not have to worry about the strain of the divorce while they celebrate.
If you are a father, we have some tips for you too!
- Ask for what you need. If you want to have the kids the whole weekend. Ask and offer to help out your ex-wife by doing the same on her birthday or another holiday. If you don't ask for what you want it has the potential to build resentment which doesn't do any good for your family.
- Whether near or far, spend time with your kids. The great thing now about technology is that even if you live far away, you can still see your kids. It may not be the same as being with them for the day, but it can bring a bit of joy to the celebration.
- Take care of yourself. It is not uncommon for divorced men to feel depressed on a holiday. They can feel alone and isolated, especially if they cannot spend time with their children. If that is you, have a plan to go out with a friend or doing something fun. Focus on what you love about your children.
We know that encountering holidays as a divorced family can bring its own challenges. We also know that the more we try to work together for what is best for our children, teaching them love and respect, the easier those challenges become. We wish each of your a Happy Father's Day!