Full-Time Dad Part-Time Kids
Sometimes dads find themselves parenting in less-than-ideal situations.
Many dads begin to ask themselves, “How can I be an involved dad when I don’t see my child every day?” Here are some important things to remember and act on as you go through difficult seasons.
Fatherhood after separation
- Separated fathers deal with personal issues that can aﬀect their relationship with their children.
- Feelings of anger, low self-esteem, and hurt are normal during separation.
- Children are often confused by separation. Help them understand what they are going through.
- Separating your feelings about your ex-partner from your relationship with your children is important.
- Bring a new person into your children’s lives gradually and carefully.
Your ex-partner: Working things out
- Switch from a personal to a more business-like relationship.
- Working as a team is best for the children.
- Negotiation is a vital skill for separated and divorced fathers.
- Keep conflict to a minimum – it’s good for the kids.
- Check out assumptions before they lead to misunderstandings.
Take time to adjust
Separation and divorce involve tremendous amounts of change. Your role with the children changes. How you spend your time with them will be different. Your dreams of family life will not be the same.
Look after all aspects of raising your children
In many ways, you may find yourself doing more things for your children than you had in the past.
When they are with you, you are always “on”. You have total responsibility.
Do all you can to stay in touch with your children
Keeping in touch with your children when they are not with you reminds them they matter to you. It also helps you stay aware of things that are happening in their lives. Find creative ways to keep connected.
Children of divorced parents need a “real Dad”
It may be tempting to focus on fun with your children and neglect their need for boundaries, rules, and discipline. Be more than a “special events Dad”.
Your feelings are important
Strong feelings can sometimes get in the way of being the parent you want to be. Be aware of that and learn to deal with your feelings separately so you can be the father you want to be.
Separation is hard on every member of the family, but dads often feel even more alone and without support through separations. Dad Central wants dads to know we are here for you and that you can make it through this time. We also want to see you stay positively involved in the lives of your children – they will always need you.
If you know or work with a dad going through separation, please reach out and stay connected. They need you – whether they admit it or not.
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