Father’s Day is almost here, but you’re not living with the father of your child/children anymore. If your kids are older, they can certainly figure out a way to tell dad how much they love him, but for those of you with younger children…isn’t it up to you to do something?

Sure, a stepmother or new partner may hold the helm with these duties, but as a mom of those children, if you’ve got an ex who is an active and good dad, you should step up and do something. You don’t have to drop cash on him or go all out like you used to because you’re not his wife…but they’re still his kids. If your ex is a good father, step up and show him your appreciation. It could be so much worse. Even if you’re still feeling the sting over the divorce, think of the many divorced parents who watch as the dad walks out on the kids’ lives. If your ex is in it for the long haul, show him how important he is on Father’s Day with these ideas.


1- Plan a Breakfast

If the kids are dying to make him breakfast, ask if he wouldn’t mind if you help the littles make breakfast for him. If his new partner is not happy with the idea, try inviting the new partner too.

What will an hour together hurt?

If the two of you can’t get along but he’s still an awesome dad, give the kids money and let them treat him to breakfast!


2- Give Him the List

If you’re on a budget, “the list” is a great and easy Father’s Day gift.

Make a list of all the times your ex has been a good dad—from the married days to the divorced days. Have your kids help to make this list. Between all of you, I bet you’ll have a nice scrolling log. It shows Dad that all the little and big things he does, matters.


3- Score Some Good Tickets

If you have the funds, why not give Dad some tickets to a cool show, kids’ event, or game that he can enjoy with the littles?

Something that’s great for him to share with the kids. I bet he’ll appreciate it and your kid/children will too!


4- Create The Six Pack

Dad loves beer? Obviously, if you’ve got littles, you’ll have to buy and hand deliver this to your ex yourself, but have the kids write—help them if they need it—reasons Dad “deserves a beer” on each beer. One reason for each beer! These reasons could be “Because Dad plays ball with me” or “Because Dad sings me to sleep at night when I’m with him.” Whatever the reason, this creative and frothy idea will be much appreciated.


5- Make Him The Perfect Wife

Okay—this only works if your ex has a great sense of humor.

And you’ll have to give this to dad privately—unless your kids are old enough to appreciate the joke.

Create a little scrapbook of his favorite celebrity crushes. Tell him since you weren’t the right one, you’ve cataloged the perfect wife for him.

However, he chooses to “use these images,” no one needs to know!


6-Make a Favorite Dish

Did your ex love your steak dinners? If yes, he probably still does. Have the kids help you make his favorite dish, then wrap it up and send it over. I bet he’ll love the thought!


7- Capture Him With The Kids

Offer to take photos of him and the kids somewhere special to him and your littles, Maybe the park…maybe the beach. Wherever the place, offer some of your time to do so. If you can afford to, ask a professional. These will be photos he and your kid/s will cherish forever.


8-Baked With Love

Making Dad his favorite treat is not only something he’ll love, but so will the kids! They’ll be proud of their own efforts and will enjoy the sweet fruits of their labor!


9-Offer Him a Day Off

If Dad happens to be a 50/50 Dad, offer to switch a night with him—or give him a day off so he can do something for himself. Let’s be honest: that’s something many of us moms would appreciate, too!


10- Sing It Loud

Are your kids super creative or musical? If yes, how about you get them to make up a little song for Dad. You can then video it, FaceTime it…or have them sing it at his doorstep. He’ll be entertained and touched!


No matter what you do whether it’s a card or gift, do something. A good father is a treasure, even if he was or is, a crappy husband/ex-husband. It’s the right thing to do for your kids too, and if he’s got a new partner, perhaps if you two get along, you can plan something cool together. That’s super awesome—and mature!


Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, writer, comedienne, and single mother. Laura will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Redbook, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, Your Tango and numerous other sites. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com.