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Leave your divorce out of graduation day celebrations

Spring is in full swing, and many families are preparing for a milestone event in the lives of their teenage children. Graduation day is just around the corner, and some Texas families are struggling over how to find the right balance between two sides of a divorce. For those facing this challenge, there is no better advice other than to point out that divorce woes should play absolutely no role in the celebration of this special day.

It can be difficult to interact with one's ex, especially if the divorce is especially fresh or the end of the marriage was especially contentious. In cases in which a high level of contention is unlikely, families should take the time to create a plan to allow both sides to spend time with the graduate during graduation celebrations. For some, this means scheduling family parties well in advance; others can simply designate a day that the graduate will be expected to visit with family members from either the maternal or paternal side of their family.

It is important to include the graduate in these plans, as he or she will likely feel pressured to attend multiple events during the days surrounding graduation. When divorced parents are unable to reach a high degree of cooperation, the children often suffer. This should never be the case during graduation, when all focus should be on the achievements of the graduate. In addition, young people are often highly focused on spending time with their peers during the end of their school days, and both parents must understand the importance of allowing time for their child to celebrate independent of either family.

Graduation is a time of celebration, not only for the Texas graduate but for the family as well. Kids succeed when they are supported by both parents, and divorce should never alter the fact that both Mom and Dad should take pride in the achievements of their child. With the right degree of intent and effort, graduation day can be a success on all fronts, with all family members being able to share in the celebrations.

Source: Pleasanton, CA Patch, "Your Divorce Is Not Part Of Your Teen's Graduation", Autumn Johnson, May 24, 2015

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