Welcome back to Our Children Australia.
Today we are talking about school graduations.
Firstly if you have a child graduating from school this year – congratulations. This is a big milestone for both them and you.
School graduations though for divorced and separated families can be tarnished especially if there is ongoing high conflict. It might make for an awkward ceremony to have both parents there or alternatively if there are new partners there that don’t get along. So what we want to talk about today is how to make school graduations for your children an enjoyable experience and one that you both get to attend.
Obviously where you are at in the divorce and separation process will depend on how you approach the upcoming school graduation. If you have been divorced for years there is likely to be no issue. However if your separation is recent or if there is a high level of conflict one thing you need to do is remember that the graduation is all about your child. It is all about celebrating the fact that they have finished primary/high school and are now moving onto the next phase of their life. You want to make sure that they can celebrate this occasion and for most children they will want to do this with both parents. As best as you can, put the feelings aside and turn up to the graduation. You don’t have to sit side by side, if the conflict is so high that you cannot do this, don’t. Take all steps you can to avoid the conflict without making things awkward.
After the ceremony remember that your child will want to come and see both of you and you both will want to congratulate them. This will be easier for them if they can spend time with you both together as opposed to having to see one parent and then move on to the next. This may seem to be awkward but if you can step up and take the higher road, this will make all the difference for them.
In the lead up to the graduation, you need to discuss if partners are going to attend. Your partner may play a significant role in your child’s life so they may want them there. But if your partners are the source and cause of conflict and heightened stress and anxiety for either of you it is possible that it is the same for your child as well. Why? If your children know that mum doesn’t like dad’s new partner and that if she is there mum will be stressed then they are going to be on edge that something could be said and an argument ensue. Vice versa for dad. Think about that and maybe you need to take a stance and remind your partners that this day is all about your child and as you are their parents, both of you will be there and that is it.
At the end of the day this is not about them, you or your relationships this is about your child.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.