As the final post for our Father’s Day week, we’ve decided to take a look into how separation can affect your child growing up. We ask Alana, whose parents separated when she was a young teenager, how Father’s Day affected her.

“For me, growing up with separated parents, Father’s Day was never really an issue. But I know that I was one of the lucky ones.

It didn’t matter whose house I was staying at that week, I would always end up at Dad’s for Father’s Day, without question. We’d spend the day with Dad kicking the footy in the park with my brothers or having a BBQ in the yard. If it was Mum’s week, she would always drop me off for the day and pick me up afterwards. And when I was young she would always take me shopping, help me choose a gift and give me money for it. And she’d always ask me how my day was when I came home.

And that’s coming from a split family where my parent’s didn’t talk.

I grew up in a generation where divorce was starting to become more and more common. And at one point probably half of my friends were from split families. But too often I saw my friends get caught in the middle. They’d been brainwashed to hate their fathers or they’d been banned from seeing them. Perhaps their father had left for another woman, perhaps there was an affair. Whatever the reason, as teenagers, they were forced to grow up without a father figure in their lives.

But now, 10 years later, almost all of them have reached out to their fathers, only to realise that they were good men. Sure, perhaps they did some questionable things back in the day, and they may have irreparable differences with their ex-spouses, but they’d never stopped loving their kids. And now, these kids in their 20’s are only now experiencing their first Father’s Day with their Dads. They’re now trying to build up their relationship after all those lost years. And you know what, it’s working.

My advice to parents, for what it’s worth, is to keep your kids out of your own personal conflicts and grudges. Father’s Day and Mother’s Day are important days for us, as kids, to show our parents how much we love and appreciate them. You might not love them anymore, but we do.”