10 Nov Invitation Etiquette
If you are inviting a child of divorced parents to an event you are hosting, such as a birthday party, you may wonder to which parent you should send the invitation. I faced this situation personally recently. With some of the kids being invited, I did not know which parent handled the “social scheduling”. Should I send the invitation to the mom or to the dad? I made a stereotypical judgment and mailed the invitation to the mom’s address, assuming (hoping) that the parents would communicate with each other. I knew, from my work with divorcing clients, that parents don’t always communicate with each other as well as they ideally should, and that often the dad feels excluded from the communication about social plans, but I couldn’t think of another way to handle it. The choice seemed binary. Later, when I learned that (at least) one of the moms had not shared the information with the dad, it dawned on me that the best choice would have been to send an invitation to both parents. It seems so obvious to me now that sending to both parents is the best approach but it did not occur to me at the time. This was a good lesson for me regarding the specific issue of sending invitations. It’s also a good example of how to look at any problem. If the options for resolution will result in a binary “I win, you lose” outcome, look more broadly to see if there is a solution that can satisfy both parties. With some creative thinking, you can often find one.