Parents face a unique challenge after their divorce. Although they are no longer married to their former spouse, they must still co-parent with them. You two are different, yet you must unite and be on the same page when you’re raising your children. It’s very complex and can feel like a balancing act, but it can be done successfully. Here are four tips for being a great single dad.
- Don’t talk to your kids about your issues.
After your divorce, you may have a variety of feelings. Make sure that you don’t discuss that with your children. That is information best shared with your therapist or group, but your kids should not feel like they need to help shoulder your burden.
They will have their own post-divorce issues. While it is appropriate for you to encourage them to talk to you about their feelings, try your best not to commiserate too much. When your children share their emotions, make sure that you make that conversation all about them and leave your feelings out of it.
- Help your kids keep their routine when they’re with you.
Although it might be tempting to try to morph into “Fun Dad,” this will not benefit either you or your children. Instead, it will just make life (and your children) crazy and unpredictable.
What helps your children most during this difficult time is structure and stability. Do your very best to try to keep them on the same schedule they keep at their mom’s house. If they have a certain breakfast that they eat there, try to offer that when they’re with you.
In particular, you want to do your very best to keep the same bedtime routine. Learn what they do before bed, what time they go to bed, and what time they get up. Keeping this routine unaltered between households will be extremely helpful to your children.
- Don’t speak ill of their mother.
Yes, she is your ex-wife and you, undoubtedly, have strong feelings about her. However, you need to keep those to yourself when you’re around your kids. Remember, you and your former wife are still working as a parenting team. You wouldn’t want her speaking poorly of you to the kids, so you need to avoid speaking poorly about her to them.
When you and your former wife appear to be a united front, it will make both of your parenting experiences easier. In a situation like divorce where there is no easy button, take advantage of this tip in particular to make life easier.
- Be a dad.
You don’t need to try to be your kids’ buddy. Similarly, you don’t have to try to do everything exactly like their mom does. Your kids have friends, and they have a mom. It’s up to you to be the dad.
Dads are different from moms for a reason. The combination of both parents brings happiness and balance to kids. It allows them to do different activities and experience different perspectives.
Don’t undervalue your role as a dad. Embrace your personality and what makes you different from your ex-wife. Although you want to maintain stability for your children, don’t be afraid to inject your personality and do things your way.
Maintaining Your Fathers’ Rights
If you think that your rights as a father are being violated, contact Fenchel Family Law. We are adamant that fathers deserve to have the same rights as mothers. Our qualified attorneys can help you get the visitation rights that you deserve. Give us a call today at (415) 650-1112 or contact us online to find out how we can help.