RELATE Taunton and District is offering advice for families who are separated or divorced ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday.
The charity, which is running a separation awareness campaign called Being Parents Apart, recognises that this can be a tough time of year, especially if dads are not spending Father’s Day with the kids.
Relate family counsellor Rebecca Wellaway said: “Father’s Day can be a lovely time of year for many families. But like all festive occasions, it can be a really difficult day for dads who are going through a tough time. It’s especially hard when it’s your first Father’s Day since going through separation.” With 58% of separated parents surveyed saying they don’t believe in a good separation, Relate is offering some tips to help separated parents manage Father’s Day.
Rebecca’s top tips for dads.
*Be honest. If you can, try to be honest with your ex partner about what you’d like to do on Father’s Day. If you want to change arrangements so that you have the children when you wouldn’t usually, make sure you talk openly to your ex and give plenty of notice.
*Think about other Father’s Days you have had. There may be a chance to do things in the same way or to make them very different, so talk to the kids and see what they think too.
*Remember it’s just one day. This is important, especially if you’ve recently separated. Your children might feel a bit strange as to how to approach Father’s Day, so try not to put too much pressure on it.
*Plan something for yourself. Regardless of whether you have the kids or not, plan a little treat for yourself on or around Father’s Day – just going for a drink with a friend can give you a lift.
Rebecca’s top tips for mums.
*Give a little. If you can, try to talk to your ex partner about what he’d like to do on Father’s Day. Try to be flexible where you can on who has the children that day – a little gesture like swapping your days can go a long way.
*Help the kids out. Even if your relationship with your ex is difficult, he will always be your kids’ dad, and it can really help children to know that you understand their relationship with both parents is important. Help them write cards or buy presents if possible.
*Plan something for yourself. It can be tough to imagine the children having a special time with your ex, especially if the break up is recent. Instead of dwelling on that, have something in mind to look forward to yourself.
Relate Taunton and District offers information, advice and counselling for all stages of your relationships, including helping people to handle separation.
For further information phone 01392-275681 or click on the related link on this story.