Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be among the trickiest holiday for divorced parents. If you and your co-parent have a strained relationship, it can be difficult to muster the will to help your kids prepare to celebrate a day when your ex is celebrated. If your kids are still young, it also means helping them choose a gift (or doing it yourself).

If you’re a mom whose ex-husband didn’t step up and make sure you got the Mother’s Day you deserved recently, you may consider the upcoming Father’s Day payback time. However, it’s essential to remember that these holidays are important to your kids. Even if your ex did nothing to help your kids prepare for Mother’s Day, you can lead by example this Father’s Day.

First, make sure that your kids get to be with their dad, even if it’s not “his” weekend. If he lives far away, help them pick out and send a gift and card and let your kids video chat with him for as long as they’d like. If they have a grandfather (either your father or your ex’s) in the area, maybe they can spend part of the day with those dads.

Gift-giving is one of the best parts of these holidays for kids. Whether they want to make something or buy something, help them out. If they’ve made an art project at school for Father’s Day, show your enthusiasm whether you feel it or not.

If they spend the day or weekend with their dad, let them tell you about it. Don’t make them feel like they abandoned you for their dad. Remember that your focus should be on helping them have a strong relationship with both of you. As a bonus, next Mother’s Day, your ex may remember how supportive you were and return the favor.

If you haven’t included Mother’s Day and Father’s Day custody or visitation arrangements and it becomes a source of conflict, you may want to seek a modification. However, if you and your co-parent can work it out yourselves, you’ll be modeling good behavior for your kids.

Source: Our Family Wizard, “Co-Parenting Etiquette on Mother’s (and Father’s) Day,” accessed May 15, 2018