Planning and attending an event that is designed to honor your child can be difficult for a divorced parent because the other parent may be present. It is possible, however, to pull off a great family function with your ex. Here are some tips to help:
Try to handle the planning together. When you are the only one coordinating an event for your child, it can make seem like you’re trying to run the show instead of being inclusive, which can place your ex in a defensive position. Instead, reach out to your ex (with enough advance notice) to allow him/her to take part in the planning. Their appreciation for your consideration will go a long way toward helping the dynamic between you when the event takes place.
Discuss any guests that you plan on including. Unfortunately, divorced parents do not often go through their moving-on processes at the same time, so it’s important to realize that one of you may be single while the other one isn’t. It’s not altogether necessary or reasonable to bar your new guy or girl from attending an event where your ex may be present, but you should discuss the matter with your ex first and be sure that you’ve allowed a respectable amount of time and healing to pass before even considering it.
Keep the ‘adult’ issues out of it. Your child will probably feel tense enough — depending on age — knowing you’re both going to be there. If there are any issues that you have to work out regardgin feelings and conflicts, take care of it behind the scenes and not at the event. Be sure to help create happy memories for your child, and keep adult issues away from the child’s day.