We are currently enjoying the annual Minnesota Get-Together. The State Fair is an annual ritualistic event that many Minnesotans appreciate. When families are divorcing, it is often important to continue to maintain these rituals to keep consistency for children. When conflict overwhelms a divorce these important factors may be lost. A collaborative process, that focuses on the interests of the parties can help keep these important rituals in the family.
Many families take the annual trek to St. Paul, Minnesota to the State Fair grounds. Whether they drive and pay $20 to park on someone’s lawn or jump in a church parking lot and take a free shuttle, they all end up at the Fair. Once there, they may play games in the Midway, taste meatloaf on a stick or Sweet Martha’s Cookies, or explore the many educational/agricultural opportunities. There are parades and musical performances. Animals galore. It seems everyone has their own “way” of exploring the Fair.
When a family divorces, the annual Fair-going event may change. Some families can maintain the traditions and attend the fair together, despite the new status of divorce. Other families may trade-off the Fair event each year or share it in some way (mom and dad swap at the corner of Cosgrove and Randall). Or maybe a family friend or grandparent will maintain the tradition.
What is most unfortunate, however, is when these types of traditions are lost altogether. It may result from financial challenges or anger between the parents. Sometimes rituals are just lost in the transitions – they may be forgotten. A collaborative process can help to keep the focus of divorce on the children. Keeping the focus on what matters most to them will help keep these types of rituals in the forefront. As a whole, the family will be better off and rituals can be maintained if you work together on the outcomes.Tagged with: children of divorce • children's emotional adjustment to divorce • Co-Parenting • healthy divorce • productive conflict resolution • state fair