Father’s Day weekend is upon us, and whether you feel it’s all just a marketing gimmick it’s still important to take time out to celebrate, but for many divorced dads, the day can serve as a tough reminder of the most painful loss or saddest change from your divorce: time with your kids.
Divorce affects everyone including the children just as much, so use this day to reinforce the fact that you are always there for them. You may still be feeling hurt, angry, or frustrated or you may have come through The 7 Stages of Recovering from your Divorce, but Father’s Day is not all about you. It is about your children.
No matter how much time you actually get to spend with your children on Father’s Day whether it’s just a few hours to the whole day, or even if you don’t get to see them in person, you need to make the effort to show your children that you love them.
In this modern world of tech you can Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime or call their mobile phone. It’s about connecting.
Children need to know that despite what has happened you are still interested in talking to them, spending time with them and are still their Dad actively involved in their lives.
Quality Time Is What Really Counts
Some Dads may not be able to spend the entire day with their kids, others will be limited to just a few hours and there are still more who will not get to see their kids at all. However, the amount of time you spend isn’t what matters — it’s what you do with it. Make sure whatever you plan has some sort of special significance, particularly if you only get a short visit.
Give the time you have some thought and make it meaningful.
Remember you are building memories that last a lifetime and nurturing your child’s self esteem by wanting to connect with them.
Ask the kids what they’d like to do – it could be bowling, skating, swimming or fishing. It doesn’t really matter so long as you are all together having fun and chatting. Getting excited & looking forward to a day or weekend with you is one of the best gifts you can give them.
It’s Not About The Money.
A side effect of divorce often results in a change in your finances. Don’t be ashamed, embarrassed or feel guilty if you can’t afford to go to Disney World or an expensive restaurant. Children spell love T-I-M-E & it’s very common and completely understandable that divorce wreaks havoc on your bank account. To have a wonderful time & to create a great memory doesn’t take money, it takes planning and thought.
Bike rides and bacon sandwiches, football with jumpers for goalposts in the park, a trip to the cinema, or curled up on the sofa with a film and box of homemade popcorn.
It’s not what you do – it’s the intention behind it.
Keep The Bigger Picture
Don’t let your resentment, anger, frustration or general dissatisfaction with your Ex cloud, damage or destroy the relationship you want to have with your kids – use Father’s Day to strengthen and nurture it.
Your relationship with your ex may have broken down but children naturally love both of you and they crave parents who get along. So, show respect towards their Mum by being warm and friendly when you exchange the children. One moment of friendliness towards your ex observed by your kids, can make a memory for their entire lifetime. Quite a ‘Pause to Ponder’ moment. Try and park up your animosity for the sake of the longer-term happiness of your children.
Don’t Bring Along Your New Romantic Partner.
While you may be excited to share the day with your new partner, especially because you want them to meet, or further bond with your children, your kids may well see this as taking away from their time with you. They also may be less likely to discuss their feelings openly with you. Make sure your children know that they can confide in you so create the space for them to talk to you, if they want to.
This is your day. Your day with your children. Make it magical. Make it special. Make it memorable for all the right reasons.
Have a Happy Father’s Day creating lovely memories for your kids.