Father’s Day is just around the corner. It is a day dedicated to dads. It is a day in which we take time out of our busy lives to reflect on the sacrifices they make for us, celebrate the contributions they make in our lives and honor who they are.
The sting of a divorce can make you want to ignore this holiday. Emotions of betrayal, resentment, anger or disappointment are not easy to put aside, even for a day. Of course, it wouldn’t be parenthood if “doing what’s best for them” didn’t require putting your children’s needs above your own feelings from time to time.
Here’s a few tips that might help:
- Separate “Dad” from “Husband”: He may have let you down as a husband, but what was he like as a dad? Most people don’t act the same in both roles. It is important to look only at how he treated the children. Focus on his good qualities as a dad, because that role didn’t end with the divorce.
- Turn the day into a bonding activity for you: Take time to help your children make a card or pick out a small gift to give their dad. Enjoy their excitement as they plan their little surprise. They may not comprehend the goodness of your gesture now, but they will appreciate it later.
- Remember the benefits of fatherhood: Your kids will benefit by having an active dad, which is more than an opinion or theory. Supporting their time together can have a real and positive influence on your children’s lives.
- Be accommodating: It might be your day with the children under the parenting agreement. There is no doubt that you want to spend every allotted minute you have with them, but it might be a good day to be flexible. Realize that the kids (and your ex) might appreciate a little leeway to make the holiday special. It can help set the stage for a good co-parenting relationship. He might even return the favor when you want one.
Every person and family is different, which means you will want to find your own way to navigate these difficult situations. Don’t ignore the holiday. Think about how you can turn it into a positive experience for the kids.