You will always be the father of your children, no matter what a piece of paper may say. Numerous research studies have shown that children whose fathers are involved in their lives have higher self-esteem, show better self-control, and exhibit stronger coping skills. You play an important role with your children. Just because your divorce is finalized and you don’t have primary custody doesn’t mean your job is done. Actually, the work is just getting started. Here are several tips for staying connected with kids after divorce.
Every time you get a visitation time, it’s special. It’s your chance to be around your kids and be a significant part of their life. So, plan accordingly. Make sure you can give your kids 100% attention when you have those times.
You don’t have to plan every waking moment. In fact, it’s a great idea if you can maintain enough flexibility to let your kids tell you what they are interested in doing during your parenting time.
Find out what they are interested in. If your son or daughter has an athletic interest, perhaps you can join them and play with them. If one of your kids has more artistic or academic interests, offer to engage with them by reading one of their favorite books and discussing it. Or, take an art class together and create something together. By expressing an interest in what they like, you are creating a positive bonding experience which will help keep the two of you connected.
Coming to their father’s new house can be disorienting and strange to children. So, go out of your way to make them feel at home when they come to visit. One way to do that is to give them their own bedroom. Let them tell you some ideas for how to decorate it and personalize it, so they feel like it’s “their room” versus just another guest room.
Break out your camera phone, too. Pictures of your kids personalize your new house and let them know that you are thinking about them even when they are not there. If you take some good pictures during their visit, share them with them on their social media accounts. Let them know that they are important to you.
No matter what happened during your divorce, always speak respectfully of your ex while you are around your children. It’s not fair to insist that they take sides, given that they love their mother as well as you. This is your chance to be a role model, to show your children how to be a better human being and demonstrate effective coping skills.
Staying consistent is also a good idea. It can be damaging for the children if they have to navigate one set of standards and rules while at their mother’s and a different set of standards and rules while they are with you.
At some point, you may want to start dating again and it may get serious. Just remember that your children will have their own feelings about this, and they may not be positive. Be sensitive and treat them the way you would want to be treated.
Never give up on having a relationship with your children, regardless of how difficult the obstacles are. Take whatever steps you can, whether it’s writing letters, communicating via social media, or going to their school events. Do whatever you can to be a part of their lives.
If you are a father trying to stay connected with your kids after a divorce and are being blocked from doing so, you need to contact an experienced attorney such as Mrs. Edidiong Aaron at Family Matters Law Group. She has helped numerous fathers in Henry, Clayton, and Fayette counties, as well as across the Atlanta metro area, stay connected with their children.
Contact Family Matters Law Group today and set up your consultation. We’re ready to hear your story and fight for you and your family!