In North Carolina, school is in full swing for your child. That also means that it is time for school-sponsored special events and extracurricular activities that welcome a student’s family to attend. These events can play a big role in your child’s life, whether they are parent-teacher conferences, band and choir concerts, theater performances or sporting events.
However, these events can be challenging for unmarried or divorced parents. There are a few things that parents should consider as these events approach.
Three steps parents should take
Your child has prepared for this event since the beginning of the school year. It is important for divorced parents to recognize that effort and do some preparation of their own. When getting ready for a child’s event, you should:
- Communicate: It is important to touch base with your co-parent beforehand. Discuss the details of the event ahead of time, including who can attend and if you will bring other extended family members to the event. You should address other plans related to the event as well. For example, if you want to take your child out for dinner or ice cream after their basketball game, discuss this plan with your co-parent to avoid any surprises or chances of dispute at the event. Having a plan can make these events easier for everyone involved.
- Remain civil: You and your ex-spouse may be on uncertain terms after the divorce. However, as we have discussed in previous blog posts, it is critical to keep children out of any conflict that exists between you and their other parent. This is especially critical at a special event with the child. This might even look like keeping a physical distance between yourself and the other parent at the event. Regardless of whether or not that is possible, you must make efforts to remain civil, especially in front of your child.
- Stay positive: This event should be fun for your child. Even if you feel uncomfortable with your ex-spouse present, your child should not be able to tell.
You can keep interaction with your ex-spouse minimal at this event. Even so, it is important to set aside your differences and be there for your child as a united front.
The most important thing to remember?
It is critical to remember that this event is for and about your child. They will likely want both of their parents present at these special times.
As Psychology Today notes, it is important to be physically and emotionally present for your child. Do not let any residual negative feelings between you and your ex-spouse get in the way of doing this. You should ensure that your child is the priority.