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Awkwardness at graduation: Take steps to look past divorce

As the end of the school year arrives, one thing that's vital for you to remember as a divorced or divorcing parent is that your decisions should not impact your child's graduation. You and your spouse chose this path, but it does not have to impact your child's big day.

A graduation is a celebration of your child's achievements, and nothing spoils that faster than arguing or fighting during the festivities. If you and your spouse intend to go to the graduation, it's time to put the divorce aside and be there for your child.

Your child's graduation may be a stress if you have a new boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, too. Perhaps you and your ex don't get along, but your child invited you both and you need to sit together. Regardless of the situation, it's time to figure out how to work through it in support of your child. Email your ex-spouse to talk about the day ahead of time. If you're concerned about him or her bringing a spouse, address that issue now instead of the day of.

There's no rule that you have to be friends with one another, but you and your ex should work toward being civil in each other's company. If you can't sit next to each other, see if you can have a mutual friend or parent sit between you who doesn't feel stress at the idea. Likewise, if your child wants both parents there but neither wants to sit close to the other, getting two separated seats may be beneficial.

There are ways around the awkwardness that an event like this can bring. For your child's sake, working together is the best way forward.

Source: Mill Valley Patch, "Your Divorce Is Not Part Of Your Teen's Graduation," Susan C. Schena, May 15, 2017

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