So, you only get your kids over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a strong relationship with them. A common mistake post-divorce dads’ make is focusing on their breakup instead of their kids.
To make things work, you have to shift your focus from your failed relationship to your children. Here are some post-divorce tips for dads to maintain a healthy and loving bond with their kids:
While it may be true that you spend less than a week over the course of a month with your kids, you have to make it count. Make sure you spend all that time with your kids. Don’t let work or your new girlfriend distract you when you are with your kids. You should try and be alone with them. You can take them out or stay at home while doing something they enjoy. The key is spending quality time with your kids.
Sure, you look forward to spending weekends with your kids, but that doesn’t mean that is the only time you should be talking to them. Kids love sharing whatever is happening in their lives with their parents, and you can stay in the loop by calling them every third day or texting them. Make them feel that you are thinking about them and you don’t want to remove yourself from the picture. This is particularly important if they don’t want to talk to their mother. You should be available, as a sounding board.
Perhaps the biggest impact of the parents’ separation is on their kids’ academic performance. Therefore, you should make every effort to be involved, especially where education is concerned. Be there for parent/teacher meetings and have the school keep you up to date with their progress. Don’t rely on your ex-spouse to inform you about everything. You should also make it a point to spend every holiday with them, be it Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July. Also, be involved with their medication and doctor visits. This will also ease the burden on their mom.
Becoming a soccer coach is just an example of the activities through which you can be more involved in your children’s lives. Find a way to spend more time with them, beyond what is allowed to you. For instance, if your kid is on the swim team, volunteer to drive him/her to training sessions. You can also teach him/her a trick or two to improve their performance.
Even if you are not on good terms with your ex, you shouldn’t show it to your kids. Be amicable with your ex-spouse when you are around the kids and don’t badmouth her when you have them over for the weekend. Teach them the importance of respect and staying cordial even if things don’t work out. This will prove a valuable life lesson for your kids.