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Celebrating Father’s Day for Divorced Dads

Father's Day for divorced dads CAN be fun and gratifying - come get four tips on how you can make this day a good one for everyone.
father's day for divorced dads can be a good day with these four tips - you don't need this gold dad balloon and all these ties to do it!

Here are some tips for managing Father’s Day for divorced dads and their children.

Celebrating Father’s Day for divorced dads can feel like salt in the wound when you’re separated or going through divorce for both of you and the kids. It’s challenging to lose precious weekend time with my children no matter what the reason, and this day is no exception. Despite disliking the loss of time, it’s important to remember that Father’s Day can be a really special day for your children if properly supported. To that end, I want to share an important concept, and that is: You don’t need to make him the villain in order for you to be a hero.

Children have the capacity for much love. They can love a LOT of people. You. Your ex. Your ex’s significant other. Your ex-in-laws. Your own family. Their friends. Their teachers. Their coaches. The list goes on and on. The love your children have for their father in NO WAY diminishes their love for you or infringes upon it. Therefore, let your children love their dad as much as they can, and be grateful if they have a good relationship with him. Many children (myself included) grow up without a loving healthy relationship with their dad. I think if the opportunity for one exists, it should be embraced.

Do not badmouth your ex to your children. Do not badmouth your ex in front of your children to someone else. Do not make your children feel guilty for wanting to be with their dad. This is true all of the time, not just around Father’s Day. Many studies conclude children who have involved fathers have positive outcomes. So swallow your pride and put your hurt feelings temporarily aside (and be sure to verbalize those hurt feelings in a healthy way to a confidant or therapist).

Life is not a fairytale and your story doesn’t need to include a hero and a villain. You and your ex can both be heroes in your children’s eyes. (And if your ex is truly is a villain, your kids will likely figure that out on their own as they get older, and you don’t need to make yourself the bad guy in their eyes by telling them that.)

Here are 4 ways I think you can make Father’s Day for divorced dads a success for everyone.

1) Don’t focus on what this day is in terms of your ex. Focus on what the day is for your children: An opportunity to show love to a parent.

2) Be supportive of whatever your children’s plans are for that day.

3) Do not be dismissive of their cards/gifts etc. that they have prepared. Again, this isn’t about your ex or you, it’s about your children having the opportunity to express appreciation.

4) View the time that your kids are with their dad as some bonus “me” time. Go get a pedicure, sit outside with a good book, or make lunch plans with those that are also free that day.
For more insight on helping children of divorce, check out the article on Birthday Celebrations.

Father’s Day for divorced dads doesn’t have to be problematic. Focus on the kids, look to the positive where you can and remember that you can be the hero without there being a villain!

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