The approaching graduation season calls to mind events in a child’s life that require parents to set aside their feelings for one another and do what is best for their child. My own law school graduation provides a vivid and lasting reminder of this problem. What should have been a very proud and exciting time for me left me instead with a deep feeling of dread. I worried about my parents being in the same room together, how they would feel, how they would act. I was a nervous wreck the entire weekend. Fortunately, both of my parents were on their best behavior, but the anxiety it created was terrible.
As you approach a child’s graduation, or any other significant event in your child’s life, why not try to work with your ex instead of against them? Talk to them about options that work for your family, thinking all the time of your child first. There may be limited seating, there may be restrictions on attendance–acknowledge those issues and think of what your child wants, not just what you want.
Plan how you will each honor your child, whether there should be a joint celebration, or whether you should each have your time with the child alone. Ask your child if it would make them feel more comfortable to have everyone in one place, or if they would prefer spending time with each family independently. If there are separate parties, coordinate times and places. Allow pictures as your child may want and not just what you want. The photo sessions and parties may include extended family, step or half siblings, and significant others, or it may just be the parents and the child. Allow for all possibilities. Remember this day is not about you, it is about your child.
For these or other family law issues, please contact one of the family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine, & Blumenthal, P.C.