A recent opinion piece in the Smyrna-Vinings Patch looked at the importance of maintaining a positive relationship with one’s children after a divorce.
The article, written by a divorced Atlanta-area father of two girls, challenged divorced fathers to be “Superdad” to their children by taking their role as a father very seriously. It is important, he said, to maintain a relationship with one’s children as much as possible on weekends, holidarys, summer visitations. But after a divorce, it is easy to lose the ability to connect with children. And simply spending time with one’s children is not enough to maintain one’s relationship with them as a father.
The author of the article gives several pieces of advice for divorced fathers to maintain a quality relationship with their children.
• Don’t be afraid to continue disciplining children after a divorce. There is nothing wrong with being a fun or friendly father, but never saying “no” is not always the best thing for them. Fathers should still reinforce things like good diet, diligent studies, and other good habits.
• Continue to get to know your children on a personal level. The author recommends asking children about what is taking place at school and other events of daily life. It is important, he says to show interest in their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and warns fathers to not tune out, and to listen to what children are saying and not saying, both verbally and nonverbally.
• It is important to be polite and cooperative with your ex-wife. Doing so will show your children how to act with courtesy, patience, and kindness in the midst of a situation that is difficult on everyone. The author recommends never allowing anyone to speaking negatively about your ex-wife in front your children.
It is important for divorced fathers to do everything they can to ensure that their children do not suffer unnecessarily because of their spousal difficulties. Doing so will allow them to have a positive relationship with their children minimize the impact of a difficult situation.
Source: Smyrna-Vinings Patch, “How to be a ‘Superdad’ after Divorce,” Lance Brooks, 23 Mar 2011.