NOT YOUR TYPICAL
FATHER‘S DAY

By Kathy Copcutt

“Yes, buy him something even if he didn’t buy you anything for Mother’s Day… Buy Dad something that he and the kids can share: board games, a favorite movie, a video game, a soccer ball, team paraphernalia—something that will create memories.”

Father’s Day is the day to celebrate the father of your children. But what if that man is no longer your husband? Divorce and death, among other things, can mean your Father’s Day might not look like the holiday celebrated by Hallmark. What if Father’s Day leaves you feeling sad, frustrated, angry?

Focus on your kids, not him. Today, let’s take a deep breath and go with the flow.

Kids will be making Father’s Day presents at schools, which is great if there’s an active father to give to. If not, talk to your child’s teacher and explain that little Julie will be making a gift for her grandfather, uncle, or godfather instead. Nowadays families are diverse; there might be two dads, two moms, a mom and a grandparent, and so on—it’s important that the teachers know what your family looks like.

If Dad is in the picture, the kids should absolutely spend the day with him, even if you’re not a part of that experience. Remember to send the kids with a gift for Dad. Yes, buy him something even if he didn’t buy you anything for Mother’s Day. You’re setting an example for your children that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Buy Dad something that he and the kids can share: board games, a favorite movie, a video game, a soccer ball, team paraphernalia—something that will create memories.

The key is to acknowledge Father’s Day even if Dad isn’t around, or doesn’t fill the traditional role. Celebrate Father’s Day, open the lines of communication with your children, and most important, don’t sweep the day away. If you find that you’re spending the day with the kids, do with them what you did with your own dad. You’ll find yourselves at the farmers market, the park, movies—doing something to celebrate your children and build memories.