As summer grows near, families all across Maryland are preparing to celebrate graduation. When a child receives his or her diploma, the event marks more than just the culmination of their secondary education; it is also symbolic of the transition from childhood into adulthood. This is a time that should be remembered, for all of the right reasons. Parents who have gone through a difficult divorce or child custody battle must remember that graduation is about the student, not the parents.

This approach begins with communicating with each other about the schedule surrounding the graduation. Both parents should make every effort to be gracious and accommodating. This can be a hectic time, especially if one or both sides of the family have relatives coming into town for the event. The graduate should be allowed to spend time with all relatives, regardless of whether it is “mom’s day” or “dad’s weekend” when the event arrives.

It is also helpful to discuss celebration scheduling well in advance of the actual event. In some cases, families will be able to hold one combined celebration, with attendees present from all sides of the family. In other cases, separate parties are a better plan. Regardless of who is expected to attend, both parents should be as accommodating as possible.

When families work together to keep the focus on the graduate, this event can be positive for all involved. Parents must remember that their child’s graduation is a mark of his or her accomplishments, and not an opportunity to “get back” at one another or cause strife. If nothing else, Maryland parents should take a break from their emotional reaction to the end of the marriage and child custody issues to focus on their child’s success, which is also partly the achievement of both parents.

Source: San Diego Ca. Patch, “Your Divorce Is Not Part Of Your Teen’s Graduation“, Susan C. Schena, March 31, 2016