Practical advice for recently divorced fathers

After a divorce it’s natural for fathers with custody of their children to be rather scared of the prospect of raising their kids alone. But, have no fear as it’s more than possible and plenty of fathers who were also nervous at first turned out to be wonderful and caring fathers with a strong relationship with their child or children.

For fathers who have recently gone through a divorce, the following tips – in no particular order – can help get into the groove of things.

For one, it’s normal for a divorced dad to be insecure when he gets custody of his children and worries that spending so much time together may actually take away from the bond that has already been formed. Only adding to this insecurity is the fact that kids tend not know how to say exactly what’s on their mind, which can lead to the assumption that something is wrong. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these feelings and questions are normal to have, and that children are children and it is normal for younger ones to have mood swings and for older kids to be quiet.

Another common pressure for divorced dad is the want to always plan the most amazing experiences for their children every time it’s their weekend together. However, it’s important to remember that while it is nice to plan fun events, their dad is still their parent and not every weekend needs to be filled with over-the-top experiences. Basically, as a father it’s impossible to do everything all the time, and when it comes to things like kids doing their homework – that’s more important than a fun trip.

It’s also important to keep a consistent schedule. This means that if a bed time is normally at 8 p.m., bedtime needs to stay at 8 p.m. as just a few hours earlier or later can mean a night of restlessness for the entire house.

In the end it’s just important for newly divorced dads to realize that their children still love them, and that the fears they are experiencing as newly divorced dads are perfectly normal.

Source: Huffington Post, “Paging Mr. Mom: Ready or Not, You’re Divorced Now,” Eric Villency, 22 April 2011

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