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Father's Day doesn't have to be difficult for the divorced

It may seem hard to believe, but Father's Day will be upon us in a matter of days. While many people celebrate the holiday with such light-hearted activities as a family meal and giving of gifts, it understandably takes on a greater significance for families of divorce -- especially if the split is relatively recent.

That's because it may bring up potentially unhappy memories for children who may still be mourning their parent's divorce. The good news, however, is that experts indicate there are several things that divorced parents --especially mothers -- can do this Father's Day to help ensure that the children enjoy themselves and look forward to future celebrations. 

Show that you support your children's relationship with their father: Experts indicate that a seemingly simple gesture like helping your children purchase or make a Father's Day card or gift can show them that you support their relationship with their father. This can go a long way toward reassuring them on a variety of levels, and help ensure that they don't experience unnecessary guilt or anxiety about spending time with dad.

Allow your children to maximize their time with dad: In recognition that it's a once a day holiday, experts advise mothers to let their children spend the whole day with their father, resisting the urge to allocate a set block of time or schedule other events that day. By giving children uninterrupted time, it will not only let them enjoy a stress-free day, but also prevent them from feelings of anxiety or resentment over time cut short with dad.

Embrace the spirit of the holiday: Experts indicate that if you have reservations about Father's Day, you should try considering it from a different perspective. Here, the holiday is another opportunity to prove to your children that you and your former spouse love them unconditionally and that the divorce doesn't change this.

Mark the calendar going forward: While Father's Day can prove to be a wonderful time for father-children bonding, so too can Mother's Day. Accordingly, experts suggest couples make these holidays dedicated to spending the day with dad and mom going forward (if legally permissible).

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you would like to learn more about divorce, child custody or visitation rights.

Source: ABC News, "8 ways for divorcees to cope with Father's Day," June 9, 2014

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