Featured on HuffPost June 14, 2017

Father’s Day is joyously anticipated by your children, as it is a day to show their appreciation and love for their dad and stepdad. However, for newly separated or divorced fathers, this day can be one of the most difficult times of the year, especially in the circumstance in which they are unable to see their children.

The idea of involvement and spending quality time with their children maintains a sense of security and stability, and helps every type of father understand the importance of strong familial bonds. Planning a calm and peaceful Father’s Day from both parents and both sides of the extended families will allow your children and their dad/stepdad to enjoy a fun and loving day to remember.










Working positively through this emotional day will make the special day more enjoyable for you and your children. If it’s not your parenting day on Father’s Day, decide on a scheduled time for pick-up and drop-off to make sure your children are aware and will know what to expect. Supporting your children’s relationship with their other parent is great for building a unified co-parenting relationship.

As the father/stepdad, if your children are not going to be with you on that special day, make sure you plan to be with other family and or friends. You don’t want to stay home alone with memories of how it used to be or of what could have been. You can always plan a separate special day to share quality time together with your children and create wonderful memories.

It is important to always be mindful and aware of our emotions without being ruled by them, and to stay child-centered, as it is the key to co-parenting in harmony.

On Father’s Day, my blended family and I have planned a brunch to celebrate the love that both these dads have for my stepson, as they both strongly value the importance of family. Setting aside pride and judgement, we all focus on family, love and simplicity. My stepson feels at ease knowing he can freely show his appreciation and love for both his bio-dad and stepdad.

Make it about unconditional love, focus on what truly matters: family, love, simplicity.

Everyone in the mix knew and played their part of parenthood in order to provide a strong parental support team. My husband, being the bio-dad, never felt threatened by his son’s stepdad, as their roles in my stepson’s life were always focused on his well-being.

Too often, there are significant amounts of resentment toward the bio-dad, whether from the children, the mother or the stepdad. The relationship between the bio-dad and stepdad is unique in every child’s eyes, and parents need to respect that. If a dad and the corresponding stepdad have a healthy relationship with the children, there are greater chances of them jointly building a continuously stronger bond with the children over the years.

Through meeting our child’s needs as teammates, with a common focus on my stepson’s well-being, all four of us learned how to connect with one another on a deeper level. Recently, we received devastating news that my stepson’s stepdad had been diagnosed with cancer. We were all very heartbroken by the news. Our feelings of compassion and empathy poured out to him and we immediately rushed to his place to support him and my husband’s former-spouse. We gathered in their kitchen with group hugs trying to console him with positive thoughts. That same night, we got a call from my stepson telling us how proud he was of us supporting his bio-mom and stepdad, and how we showed our kindness and sympathy towards his step-dad and bio-mom during these tough times.

My stepson was very melancholic following the diagnosis, and when he experiences pain every one of us experiences a sense of agony as well. Our co-parenting relationship goes beyond just being co-parents, we are a family unit and we evolve together throughout this co-parenting journey. It’s about accepting differences and moving on with life to enjoy every precious moment. Make it about unconditional love, focus on what truly matters: family, love, simplicity.

6 tips for celebrating Father’s Day in co-parenting

  • If possible, make sure the child gets to spend Father’s Day with his dad/stepdad, since this is a day to celebrate any type of father that loves their children/step-children and plays an active role in their life.
  • Make sure you give the co-parent a reasonable notice if you’d like to change parenting time arrangements for that day.
  • Look for compromise when it comes to changes in the schedule for this special occasion.
  • Make sure you ask your co-parent to make satisfying arrangements rather than initiating demands — chose your words wisely and always ensure both sides communicate respectfully.
  • Plan a scheduled time for pick-up and drop-off.
  • Children love to see their parents, stepparents, relatives, and grandparents have more than just a civil relationship — make your efforts wholeheartedly.

Children feel safe knowing their parents will always be there for them no matter what

The adults in the picture are 100 per cent responsible in making every possible effort to manage their emotions and reduce conflicts to the bare minimum.

Children feel safe knowing their parents will always be there for them no matter what, and that their co-parents will do their best to co-parent in harmony.

Children admire their parents and are proud when they encompass empathy, compassion, class, dignity and respect with the other parent(s) in the mix.

It’s always about unconditional love that creates the positive ripple effect with everyone in the mix.

Anna is a first-person advocate for Co-parenting in Harmony. As a child of divorce, stepmom, co-parent and now a proud Nana, she has 30 years of personal co-parenting experience. Anna focuses on the positive aspects of co-parenting to inspire co-parents to live a better life. Helping co-parents to breakthrough and take their lives to another level no matter what the circumstances are. Anna is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner who specializes in Co-parenting and is an International Best Selling Author: Co-Parenting in Harmony: The Art of Putting Your Child’s Soul First. To learn more about Anna’s work, check out her https://www.annagiannone.com/.