Be the Best Dad You Can Be
First of all, try not to agonize over how divorce will affect your children. There are many ways that you, as a dad, can help ease this transition. Being a positive role model is one of the most important things that you can do for your children, and while not always easy to do each and every day, especially during a challenging divorce, the results in the end are well worth it. If you’re a father dealing with divorce, remember that you are needed by your children now more than ever.
Traps to Avoid
Make every effort to maintain healthy relationships with your children and try to continue to parent as you always have. Even though you will face hard conversations with your children about what divorce will mean for them, remember to stay positive and keep your discussions age appropriate. Understandably, it is human nature to want to defend yourself and present yourself in the best light, but always take the high road and be the bigger person. Here are some common pitfalls you may face:
Avoid getting into the “blame game.” Even when seemingly warranted, placing the blame on anyone will end up putting your children in a difficult, even angry position.
Don’t talk in a disparaging manner about your spouse. Try not to let negative remarks or even a facial expression slip and give away your true feelings. We know it is tough- you are only human. Both parents are important to your kids and you don’t want them forced into dividing their loyalties.
Don’t get angry and escalate the conversation if your child repeats negative remarks your wife has made about you. You may find you frequently have to bite your tongue!
Keep any conflict and adult topics away from the children, but have honest conversations with them about the changes that are occurring.
Don’t feel that you need to make up for any guilt you may have by giving special gifts or by becoming more lenient. Children need structure and appropriate discipline.
Be a Positive Role Model for Your Children
In almost all cases, children do better when they maintain close contact with both parents. Make sure you and your ex come across as a strong parental unit and united front. Show that despite your separation, there is still unity when it comes to being their parents.
Reassure your children that even if you and their mother have stopped loving each other, you both will never stop loving them.
Find resources, counseling services, or parent education programs that focus on improving the relationship between parents and their children. Put those strategies to work.
Accept the fact that children are better off with divorced, happy parents than they are with parents who are unhappy and feel obligated to stay together.
Get on the same page with your ex to establish age-appropriate rules, follow through with consequences when necessary, and be firm and consistent with your parenting.
Encourage your children to have a good relationship with their other parent and to stay in touch when they have news or just to chat. Children do better if they have ample access to both parents.
Stay cordial with your ex so you can communicate about school, special events, and other activities that involve the children. This is a key element to providing a positive mindset in the family.
Teach your children that although dealing with divorce is difficult, they have the ability to manage and cope with their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a productive and healthy way.
Children Always Need Their Dad
Divorce is an uneasy time for all concerned. But stay steady and keep being a responsible, loving parent! Don’t forget to take good care of yourself as well, and consider resources that will be beneficial to you as you adjust to divorce and a new lifestyle. Reducing your stress is instrumental in helping your children. The attorneys of In Law We Trust P.A. are well-versed in the challenges facing fathers during divorce. We understand not only the legal aspects, but the emotional turmoil as well. We can offer sensible suggestions and strategies to help you and your children feel more secure and less anxious about all of the adjustments that inevitably occur during divorce.
Call The Family Law Experts Men Trust (813) 415-3510
In Law We Trust, P.A. is a premier firm of divorce lawyers representing men in family law proceedings. We are uniquely positioned to assist our clients with the challenges men face in Florida’s court system. Call us today and get the proper representation men need and deserve.