By Katie Davis
Father’s Day in post-divorce years can be tough, particularly if the divorce happened fairly recently.
While divorced dads may worry about what this day will hold after divorce, how they can best celebrate with their kids or whether an ex might try to upset plans, it’s important for these men to focus not so much on their losses but rather on what the future of fatherhood with their children may hold. In other words, the focus is on fatherhood.
In that sense, Father’s Day can be a great opportunity for divorced dads to re-think how they celebrate this holiday, whether on the actual day or sometime close to it, and what they want this annual tradition to mean to their children.
Read through some of these ideas on how to best approach Father’s Day weekend, and enjoy time with the kids, this year.
Take Worry Out of the Equation – Regardless of what divorced parents try to do during or after a divorce, or how much parents can try to reassure children, the kids have a knack for worrying about their parents. Children also pick up quickly on feelings, particularly those from one of their parents toward the other.
Before you dive into time spent with your kids around Father’s Day this June, take a step back and examine yourself. Are you giving off some negative energy? Do you have built-up resentment toward your ex that might be a bit too obvious to your kids? It’s time to set that aside and allow both you and your children to celebrate a worry-free holiday.
Be Open and Communicative – While you may not want divorce, or your ex, to be the focus of this Father’s Day weekend by any means, it is important that your kids feel as though they can turn to you with their questions, emotions and issues related to this event (this is particularly true if the divorce is recent).
You can still work to keep worry out of the discussion by being open and honest, but also confident and understanding. Listen to what your kids want to, and need to, say.
Divorce Detox tells fathers to “Consider their age and developmental stage, talk to your children about how Father’s Day may be different for them…and let them know how excited you are to spend time with them on this special day.”
Let them know you will always be their father, and prove to them both in words and actions that you mean what you say.
Making this Father’s Day Meaningful – This is the time in both your life and your children’s lives to reinvent Father’s Day traditions going forward. Look at it as a fresh opportunity, and make sure you stay present and responsive when your kids’ offer up ideas.
If you need to turn off your smartphone or switch off the television to keep from being distracted, do so. This is the beginning of a great holiday for you and your children.
Make it count.