Sunday 15th June 2014 is Father’s Day here in the UK. It’s a time of giving and receiving. It’s likely that if you are a divorced or separated parent, the biggest gift you can give on behalf of your children this Father’s Day is the gift of time.

Whether it’s ‘your weekend’ or ‘their weekend’, your children want to be able to spend time with their dad, just like their friends whose parents are not separated do. In giving the gift of time, you give first and foremost to your children. You show them that family is important, and that caring for the needs of other above ourselves is a vital life skill that needs to be learned in order to be a socially aware adult.

Time is more valuable than any gift that money can buy.

Giving is not just about special occasions such as Father’s Day. Often when couples are separating and divorcing, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about what you want to take in terms of time with your children as well as financially. It’s normal to feel this when you are angry and hurt. Thinking about what you can take rarely leads to an amicable separation however.

Even when you feel like the other person is making all the decisions – the decision to leave the relationship, the decision to move out, the decision to start a new relationship, in order for you to move forward, you still need to think about what you can give. Giving isn’t about being weak. It’s about compromise. It’s about saying you’re open to moving things forward for the sake of yourself and your family.

Family Mediation can support you to communicate when you find it challenging to express yourself and through fear, you want to take rather than give.

If you are a Father who is spending time with your children this Father’s Day what can you give? You can give a thank you to the mother of your children for recognising the needs of your children and the importance of you in their lives.