Father’s Day and Divorce

With Father’s Day upon us, many co-parents may be consulting their parenting plans to figure out whether the Father’s Day holiday trumps the “every other weekend” routine.  For parents who are reading the fine print, it suggests that they have not yet arrived at the place where they again are partners – but partners in parenting.  A real partnership will serve the kids best – and even a divorce that might not have been overly contentious can leave kids with fantasies of reconciliation and hope.

Years after his divorce, Christopher Perry can still recall minute details of the “discussion” about his leaving the home as he entered the divorce process.  However, he still celebrates his fatherhood with pride – “Lots to celebrate on post-divorce Father’s Day” (http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/06/16/dad.tells.divorce.sons/index.html?hpt=Sbin).  He notes an episode three years after the divorce when one of his children asks when he’s moving back… 

Children process divorce differently, but there are patterns as to how they might absorb it based upon their age and developmental stages.  Parents can arm themselves with knowledge of what will be important to their children’s processing of the divorce when the pleadings are filed and as they continue to grow up.  Indeed, this aspect of child development – where the trauma of divorce has left its mark – is something parents should take the time to explore as they begin figuring out “how to tell the children” and revisit as the children grow.

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One Response to Father’s Day and Divorce

  1. Fatherhood after divorce and how children deal with divorce are interesting topics which you did a great job with in this article. I suggest speaking with children regularly and really listening to see how they are handling things. Fathering duties are even more important after the split, so be patient and make an extra effort to spend quality time with the kids.

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