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Dealing With Your Ex on Special Occasions

How to celebrate your kids' special days together with your ex.

Irreconcilable Differences

So, what do you do if you and your ex can’t stand to be around each other? Learn to take turns, Stahl says. For example, if Mom goes to this week’s Little League game, then Dad will go to the next.

“If you can take turns, then you will only have to be together for major events,” Stahl says.

For those, you may have to ask for help. If your child is celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah or a First Communion, Stahl recommends that you talk to the rabbi or priest about how you can both be a part of the ceremony and avoid coming to blows.

And remember: just because you are both present for your child’s celebration, you don’t have to sit together. In fact, Thomas says it is better for your children to see you separate but happy rather than together and miserable.

“At a graduation, for instance, it’s good for the kids to have to wave in one direction for Mom and another for Dad so that they see happy faces in both directions,” Thomas says. “It reminds them that while they may have two homes, they have one family.”

Reviewed on November 22, 2011
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