Once a year, we have the opportunity to honour our fathers and show our appreciation for everything that they mean to us. It is also an opportunity to teach our children to consider the nature of the relationships they have with the men in their lives.
Being divorced, does not relieve you of the responsibility to teach your children the importance of special occasions. It also offers you the chance to show them how to receive love and appreciation gracefully, as they honour you. You do not necessarily have to rely on your ex-spouse to initiate celebrations. Here are some valuable tips:
- Remember that you also have a father: set an example for your children and involve them in the way you celebrate him, even if he is no longer around.
- Ask relatives or friends to guide and assist your kids with the task of planning and purchasing something special for you on father’s day.
- Inspire and support your children with a yearly celebration of their mother, on mother’s day. Whatever your beliefs are about these special occasions, she is bound to appreciate your effort and learn something from your example, to reciprocate next year. Read more about Why and How to Buy Your Ex a Gift
- Ensure that your children are able to spend father’s day with you and mother’s day with their mother – it’s simply the right thing to do – good karma and all that…
- Don’t wait until father’s day and end up feeling isolated, alone and sorry for yourself if nothing magical happens. Make plans well in advance that you and your kids can look forward to.
- Have a multi-generational father’s day – make wonderful memories with great-grandpa, grandpa, dad and sons (father’s to be) all together in the same place.
- Regard the day as a celebration of all your achievements as a father and realise how important you are to your children. Reflect on your experiences and share tales that they were too young to remember. Children love to hear those stories and enjoy relating them to others.
- Marital status has nothing to do with this special day. You deserve to be celebrated without feeling guilty and don’t need an ex-spouse to validate that.
- In the event that you have remarried after your divorce, enlist the help of your new partner to arrange a memorable father’s day with your children.
- Get rid of your old expectations and create new rituals for your family to prepare and celebrate your fatherhood. Don’t feel self-conscious about making a fuss over yourself, because you are teaching your children valuable life skills.
- If you cannot be with your children on father’s day, focus on happy memories – look at their pictures or videos of when they were little, take out the gifts or cards they made for you or wear the tie or scarf they gave you. Communicate and share pictures of the souvenirs as you rediscover them.
- Plan something fun you can do with your children the next time you do see them. Make up a special day of your own when you can celebrate missed birthdays, father’s day, Easter, Christmas etc.
- Honour yourself! Realise that you are an amazing gift to your children and compliment yourself on having come this far.
Have a glorious father’s day!
Written by Sinta Ebersohn (Creator of fairdivorce.co.za – Stellenbosch RSA)