In general and if possible, the kids should be with their Dad on Father’s Day. This might mean you have to be flexible in terms of your pre-agreed arrangements post-divorce or separation. You can always highlight what you will do on special days in your ‘parenting plan’. We have lots of tips on‘parenting plans’, shared care arrangements and how to navigate Father’s Day following on from divorce or separation on our website, but here are a few tips specifically for blended families on Father’s Day.
A blended family normally describes a couple who have separated but share children and have gone on to form new relationships with new people. There are some unique things to consider if you have a blended family and you’re approaching Father’s Day.
Learn how to communicate with your ex and their new partner
Being able to communicate well and having an open dialogue with the adults in your new family dynamic can be key to making special days like ‘Father’s Day’ work for you all.
Update your parenting plan
If you have a parenting plan, you may need to update it when you move on with new partners, particularly if they have kids also. You may want to sit down and plan what you’re going to do on ‘special days’ such as ‘Mother’s’ and ‘Father’s’ ‘Day’ given your new family setup which can help avoid confusion and conflict in the future.
Cards and gifts
Children want to give their Dad a card on Father’s Day and some might be used to giving gifts as well. If you have traditionally organised the gifts or cards check with new partners whether they would now like to do this. Being respectful of their feelings can make the process smoother for everyone.
If your child is sick and can’t be with one parent in particular on the day, being flexible and understanding can go a long way in showing your support for their other parent and the new family dynamic.
Always prioritise the children
Often blended families involve a mixture of children from different relationships. It’s important to be able to put your feelings aside and prioritise the children first when it comes to planning around Father’s Day.