Making Father’s Day special for your children when you are separated
Special days such as Father’s Day can be difficult to navigate when parents are no longer together. It is important to remember that whatever your feelings about your ex these days remain very special for your children. No matter how difficult the separation may have been, you should always be thinking about what is in your children’s best interests. Below are some useful tips on how to ensure Father’s Day remains a special day despite being separated from a partner.
- Plan arrangements for the day in advance to facilitate your children spending time with their dad. Communicating with your children’s father ahead of the day will ensure you have time to discuss any necessary amendments to the arrangements currently in place. Try to be flexible and offer changes to allow your children to have quality time with their dad. If it is not possible for your children to see their dad on Father’s Day in person, look to accommodate an additional (or longer than normal) Zoom or FaceTime call to enable your children to still have quality time with their dad. Any changes to the usual arrangements should be documented so they are clear, an email or text message will suffice for this;
- Talk to your children and ask them how they would like to celebrate Father’s Day. Being open and honest with your children about the plans is important. Changes to arrangements can be disruptive for them if they are used to a regular pattern. Ensure they understand and are comfortable with what is going to happen;
- Encourage your children to write cards and / or buy gifts. It is important to make your children feel comfortable celebrating Father’s Day even when you and their father are no longer together. Seeing you be positive and encouraging about them enjoying this time with their father will help your children to understand that just because you and their father have separated does not mean that they should miss out on sharing special celebrations; and
- Plan something for yourself. Special Days such as Father’s Day can be a difficult time for parents that have recently separated. If you are going to be on your own, look at arranging plans for yourself. As well as keeping yourself preoccupied, it can also help to reassure your children that you are not going to be on your own while they are celebrating with their dad.
Crucially, there is no ‘right’ way to celebrate special days such as Father’s Day, so there is freedom for you and your children to do this however suits you and them best. This can be by continuing with traditions from previous years or starting new ones. The most important thing is to ensure your children are supported and encouraged to enjoy these special times.