Nearly all holidays are somewhat complicated by divorce. However, the ones that are meant to celebrate parents can become the most awkward – particularly when co-parents have a strained relationship.
When you were working out your custody agreement, you may have had the foresight (or your attorney did) to include Mother’s Day and Father’s Day so that you could each have the kids on your respective holidays. However, you likely didn’t add details beyond that.
What would your kids like to do?
With Father’s Day coming up, what should you do? Why not worry less about him failing to live up to your expectations and consider what your kids would like?
Chances are, they want to pick out a present for their dad. Helping them choose it, wrap it and sign a card isn’t doing a favor for your ex. It’s helping your children celebrate the holiday – and sharing what is likely a fun activity for them.
Don’t make the kids feel guilty
What you definitely don’t want to do is make them feel guilty about wanting to give their dad a gift or to spend Father’s Day weekend with him. They also shouldn’t feel bad about not buying a gift for you. If they bring that up, you can reassure them that spending time with them or getting that hand-made card was your gift.
Often, co-parenting is about being the better person and modeling the kind of behavior you’d like to see from your co-parent. Eventually, they may come around.
If you didn’t include these holidays in your custody agreement and you ended up spending Mother’s Day alone because your co-parent insisted on keeping his regularly scheduled weekend, you also don’t have to pay him back if you’re scheduled to have the kids on Father’s Day. Let the kids spend Father’s Day with their dad. If these holidays mean a lot to you – and, more importantly, to your kids – you can add them to your custody agreement.