As your child gets older there will be many milestones, such as graduation from middle school or high school. Naturally, you want to share these experiences with them and participate in their special day.
If you are in a co-parenting relationship, events like graduation can bring challenges. While your custody schedule may award custody to only one parent on graduation day, both parents are typically allowed to attend public events for a child, such as graduation.
Therefore, while you may prefer to never be around your co-parent, chances are, you will both attend your child’s graduation.
Put your child first
Try to put your personal feelings about your co-parent aside for the day and focus on your child. Remember that graduation day is about them and do everything possible to make sure they have a happy memory of the event.
The same goes for any other co-parenting challenges you may be facing at the time. Agree to set aside thinking or talking about these issues on graduation day.
Have a plan for how you will communicate if an emergency or urgent situation comes up. Having a civil in-person conversation with your co-parent can be difficult. Using text messaging or a parenting app to communicate and decide how you will approach a graduation day emergency may work best.
The graduation party
Most graduations involve a party in addition to the ceremony itself. You and your co-parent may choose to have separate parties. However, it might be hard for your child to not have everyone they love in the same place.
Since your child is getting older, consider letting them make decisions about the party. This will likely result in a better experience for them and reduce the chance of conflict between you and your co-parent.
Do not be rigid
Be flexible during times like this. The best day for a graduation party might be on a day that you are scheduled to have custody. Do not forbid your co-parent from attending.
Keeping these tips in mind can help you to have fun and enjoy your child’s graduation day. However, if your situation is complex, getting professional advice can help.