At the point of marriage, separation is the last thing in the couple’s mind. All bliss and glamour characterise the union. Fast forward, babies come, and now the couple has more than themselves to worry about. If anything happens to this glamour and the couple agrees to part ways, the biggest worry is not what they feel for each other, but how they will live apart, especially the dad.
Co-parenting after divorce entails personal sacrifices and emotional checks, albeit to show the children that, despite the revelations, they love them unconditionally. Below are some tips for succeeding as a co-parenting dad.
Your Kids Should be the Focus
Irrespective of what happened between you and their mother, do not drag the children into the mess. Show the kids the love you would have if you were living together. Keep in mind that they are second to no one, and need your attention as their father.
You might have moved on and dating, so can their mother, but they shouldn’t play second fiddle to your other lives. It usually distracts the children from your issues and develops trust, even if you decide to forge another life with another woman.
Children need assurance that they can access you as their father. Arrangements for visits and day outs are decided in the presence of family court solicitors. Mothers are preferred by the legal systems as their primary caregiver, although fathers might also be considered. Experience shows that communication is the main cause of family break ups. However, never promise your kids anything and fail to fulfil.
Also, do not badmouth their mother, even if she is the cause of the divorce. Keep to your word, promise what you can deliver, and ensure your kids are comfortable with your other life. Break-in communication can brand you as a failure and may heighten the notion on your kids that you are the cause of the divorce.
Be the Best You Can Be
In a family setting, the father is the head of the house. Lead by example and show the children the best way to handle their situations. Children learn a lot from their parents, and any discord between their parents can shape how they will be in the future. Strive to create the best picture so that they can see you as a role model.
Amidst teaching the children how to tackle situations in life, use diplomacy, especially when they go off the radar. It is imperative, especially when dealing with teenagers. They are rebellious, and a dress down can fuel the separation even further. Talk to them in a language they understand and appeal to their emotions if they prove difficult.
Set Aside Time for Them
Create and maintain a timetable. You can agree with when both of you are free to avoid inconveniences. However much you are bogged with work or any other commitment, honour the schedule to the latter. In case of any exceptions, communicate beforehand and ensure you make up for it the next time you meet.
Children are accustomed to processes, and any deviation is seen as neglect. Remember, they might not have healed from your separation, and any slight disappointment might rekindle that feeling.
The divorce process does not usually favour the man. It is good to understand how to cope with divorce as a man as you will always live a double life. Take in the above co-parenting tips for dad to maintain the relationship with your kids. Above all, always keep your children's interest first before yours.
About the Author
Monica is a passionate writer and content creator. Her interests include business, technology, entrepreneurship and everything in between.