Coping with Father’s Day as a single dad

How do you handle Father’s Day as a single parent and make sure you and your children enjoy the celebrations? This can be tough, especially when many fathers are not the primary carer and only see their children every other weekend. But adjusting to celebrating special dates on your own doesn’t have to be difficult. It helps to have the right mindset, at least for one day. Here is our guide to help you and the children have the best Father’s Day possible.

Communicating with your ex

Communicating with your ex about the forthcoming Father’s Day should be done well in advance. Child arrangements are so much easier when there is amicable and open discourse between you and your ex. This doesn’t mean you have to be the best of friends, it merely depends on having a civil conversation with each other, if possible.

  • Plan ahead by discussing Father’s Day with your ex a couple of weeks beforehand. This way, if there are any issues with the date, you can try to work around it or seek some flexibility
  • Be clear about what you plan to do and how much time you’d like with the children
  • If your ex has an issues with your plans, try to find a compromise solution
  • If no compromise can be agreed, you may need to consider formalising an agreement for the key dates in a year that each parent spends with the children. This can be done with the help of a solicitor.

Plan the day

Children are unpredictable, and if the pressure of the day has stressed you out, your children could mirror your feelings. So taking time to plan the day helps to reduce your stress and make the day more enjoyable for all. Find a fun activity you can all enjoy together and make sure you have the logistics of it under control. Think about doing something the children want to do, such as bowling, swimming or a cinema trip. Depending on the age of the children, you may need to plan for naps and eating schedules.

What shall I do about gifts?

Your ex may not take the time to buy gifts for you on behalf of the children, and maybe you don’t care if you receive gifts, anyway. However, your children probably do and they could feel sad or guilty about it. Ask your friends or family if they can help out. A grandparent, aunt, or other family friend could be the perfect person to help your children plan their gift to you.


Should I involve my new partner?

You may be excited to share Father’s Day with your new partner and the children, but this may be a mistake, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with the sentiment, this may not be the day to do it if the relationship is still in its infancy. Your children are probably looking forward to spending this special day with you, so introducing your new partner into the mix could lead to feelings of jealousy that may be hard to get rid of in the longer term.

Top tips for Father’s Day for single dads

  • Have fun and start your own Father’s Day tradition.
  • Remember, it’s all about creating memories. Fly a kite, buy a Nerf gun (other products are available), go hiking, or ride a bike along a woodland trail. Whatever you decide to do, the only rules are everyone joins in.
  • Turn it around and give your children a gift instead. It doesn’t have to expensive or lavish, something small to remember the great day you’ve had together.

Whatever you decide to do this Father’s Day, try to spend the whole day with your children, tamp down your expectations of the spectacular and do the little things together they will always remember. Interact with them, listen, and keep things positive. And most of all, have a great day.


Find The Best Divorce & Family Lawyers Near You

We independently review and list the top divorce lawyers and family solicitors in the towns and cities near you. 100% free.

Find The Top Family Lawyers Near You

Noticed an error on this page or something broken? If so, please email us at support[at]

The information on this website is to be considered a guide and is therefore not legal advice. You use this information with the understanding that Wiselaw does not accept liability for any direct or indirect losses as a result of anyone relying on or acting upon the information on this website. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, Wiselaw does not accept liability for any errors or omissions on this website.