Encourage your kids to enjoy Father's Day with their dad

One of the toughest holidays for many families of divorce has just passed and another one is upon us next month. We're talking, of course, about Mother's Day and Father's Day. Even if your ex ignored Mother's Day, Father's Day shouldn't be about payback. It should be an occasion for helping your kids appreciate their dad -- just as it probably was when you were together.

Following are some tips for divorced moms to help make Father's Day special for their kids:

-- Let your kids spend the whole day with their dad even if Father's Day falls on "your" weekend. Don't make them feel guilty about spending extra time with their dad.

-- Help your kids pick out a card and gift for their dad. This helps show both the kids and your ex that you're supportive of them continuing to have a healthy relationship with him.

-- If there's a stepdad in the picture or your dad who want to spend Father's Day with the kids, remember that this is their day to be with their father. They shouldn't have to divide their time in order to make everyone else happy. You can always schedule a special dinner or time with their stepdad or grandfather on another day. Remind these other dads that your kids should be with their father on Father's Day, even if he hasn't been the perfect dad the rest of the year.

-- Use the day to treat yourself. This is a good chance to have alone time. You may want to plan a special day out with some friends whose kids are also off with their dads for the day.

If Mother's Day and Father's Day are problematic for you and your ex, you can always get something written into your custody agreement to designate where the kids will spend those days. However, remember that they're just two Sundays out of the year. Don't make a big deal out of them if things don't go the way you'd like. The important thing is that you and a spouse help your kids keep a healthy relationship with both of you throughout the year.

Source: ABC News, "8 Ways for Divorcees to Cope With Father's Day," accessed May 12, 2016

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