It is possible for many couples to co-parent their children after divorce, as long as they do not have to see each other. But there are many events involving the kids that require the whole family to be there. For example, birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, and sports games should be family events. Get some tips on how to handle these types of events gracefully, without starting a family feud.
Ask Your Kids What They Want
Most children want to see both parents at important events. This does not mean they expect you to get back together or act like you are in love. But it does mean they want both of you there without arguing. They want the attention of both of you at once, and they want it to be all about them. This is not something the children of divorce get often since they usually get the attention of only one parent at a time, so you can see why it is important. But just be sure to ask your children exactly what they expect at the event. Find out if they want you to sit with the other parent, or just be in the same vicinity. This way, you can be sure that you are giving your child what he or she needs to make the celebration a great memory.
Keep the Event All About Your Child
Most likely, your child's worst nightmare would be for you and the other parent to argue in public, so avoid this at all costs. If you cannot say anything nice to your ex, do not say anything at all. Even a few heated exchanges can tarnish the memory for your child, so do your best to keep it polite. Of course, if you do not feel you can do this, explain to your child that you will be sitting in a different area than your spouse so that you can both have a good time separately.
Find Out If You Should Bring a New Partner
If you are dating someone, it can be difficult to tell if you should bring him or her with you. In general, if doing so would bother your ex enough to cause a scene, you should not do it. In addition, this is not the time to introduce a new partner to your children. Unless your kids already know the boyfriend or girlfriend and are comfortable with him or her, you should avoid extending the invitation. You do not want to take the focus off your child during his or her celebration. Otherwise, your child may end up not liking your new partner simply because he or she felt blindsided by the introduction, and that's not fair to anyone.
If you want your child to have the best memory of an upcoming special event, you should consider these ideas. They are simple, but many parents do not pay attention to them, and end up forgetting what truly matters during this time: the kids.
We at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. always remind our clients of the importance of keeping the best interests of the children in mind.