Holidays can be difficult to navigate as divorced parents. Father’s Day is especially difficult for Dads. You may have some emotions about your own Father and your relationship. Remember it is just a day and don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your time. Whether it’s your first-time celebrating Father’s Day as a divorced Dad or your twentieth, here are some tips for you to make the most of it.

Always Put Your Children First. Don’t let resentments show or conflict occur in front of your children. Practice forgiveness. Don’t bad talk the other parent. Don’t blame the other parent (even if there is blame for the divorce, co-parenting, or other issues). Divorce doesn’t harm children. Conflict does. Sometimes we have to fake it until we make it, put a smile on your face and be cordial. Even if you are baited or the other person is sarcastic or nasty, you don’t have to respond the same way.

Check your Agreement or Order. Check your Agreement or Court Order if you have one, what does it say regarding parenting time on Father’s Day? Do you have the weekend, the day, or specific hours?  Even if you have no parenting time on Father’s Day, try to  reach out to speak to your children over the telephone or a videochat like Facetime or Skype.  Stay connected with them even if you can’t be physically present.  If your children are grown, check in with them directly and see what works best in their schedule.

Plan Ahead. Reach out to the other parent and confirm dates and times and exchange locations. If you have an amicable situation, feel free to ask for more time. If the other parent says no; then, accept it. Plan fun for you and your children during your time.  Fun times don’t have to cost a lot of money. Ask your kids what they would like to do. Here are some ideas: have a picnic in the park, go on a hike, swim in a river, make a craft, watch a movie together, go on a bike ride, or cook together. Make your own traditions and create a Father’s Day that is unique to you and your children.

Connect your kids to your history, culture, and/or community. Share with your children your family history and culture. Read books, go to museums, Talk to them about where you grew up and how you grew up. Talk to them about their grandparents and where they are from. Children love to learn about their connection to their family, culture, and community.

Have a positive attitude. Even if you don’t have as much time as you want, having a positive attitude will go a long way towards making your time enjoyable with your kid. Don’t bad mouth the other parent, sulk, or be melancholy. If possible, keep the time to you and your children. If possible, don’t include significant others at least for the majority of your time.  Give your child your undivided attention.  Listen to them. Watch them.  Show them that you are truly interested in them and what they are interested in.  Enjoy your quality time.