By Angela Epps - Thu, Feb 24, 2011 11:15 AM PST
Handling school events after a divorce can be tricky when trying to co-parent. Even if only one parent attended sports games, concerts and other extracurricular activities before, children will feel the absence more keenly when they do not live with both parents. Other factors can also come into play, such as new significant others that want to get involved with the kids or ex in-law disputes on who should be able to go. As in all other aspects of your divorce, you must keep what is in the best interest of your children a top priority. Put your feelings, and those of your ex-husband aside, and concentrate solely on those of your kids.
Should Divorced Parents Attend School Functions Together?
Many moms and dads consider the option of continuing to go to extracurricular activities as a family unit after a divorce. The tricky part about this option is it might be continuing to give children false hope of their parents getting back together. Some kids might be hurt by just the sight of their parents sitting together, especially at first. On the other hand, some children may still be at the stage of embarrassment and will feel pained if the two of you sit apart. It all comes down to how your child personally reacts to these types of situations.
Should Divorced Parents Trade Off Going to After School Activities?
As stated before, absence at home can make absence hurt more at important events for children. Sometimes the only option is to trade off attending concerts and sports games, especially if you are having a hard time agreeing on other stipulations of the separation. If you feel that this is the best option, make sure both of you are prepared to stick to it. For example, if you always attend concerts and dad always goes to cheer at games, never let anything else interfere with it. Work matters and legal matters need to be put off for those few hours no matter what. Have a back up person, such as a grandparent, that can be called in case of illness or an emergency if both of you cannot make it to something.
Should New Boyfriends or Girlfriends Be Allowed at School Events?
One of the trickiest parts of handling school events after a divorce is when new significant others enter the picture. Once again, this is going to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Jealousy on your part, or that of your ex-husband, cannot come into play with this decision. The best way to deal with this situation is to simply let your children decide. If they ask your boyfriend or dad's new girlfriend to come and see them then you both need to swallow your pride and smile. More people there to support your children is not a bad thing. Do not let others get involved in this decision. This seems to bring out opinions from both sides of ex in-laws and friends, no matter how supportive they have been up to it.
Handling School Events After a Divorce Successfully
The most important part of co-parenting if making sure that your children feel that they can open up to you no matter what they are feeling. They need the reassurance that you will not be mad or judge how they look at the situation, especially during the first trying part of a separation. Handling school events after a divorce successfully takes hard work, patience and an attitude of complete selflessness. Both mom and dad need to remember that their top priority in everything is taking care of the self-esteem and feelings of their kids, not themselves.