There is no doubt about it: Divorce can be hard on a dad. Many go from being able to see their children every day of the week to having to stick to a visitation schedule. However, it is important for Missouri fathers to keep in mind that they still have rights as a father — even if they don’t have primary custody — and that it is possible to have a consistent and meaningful relationship with their children after a divorce.
The first thing to keep in mind is that children will do best with a dad who is around with a consistent schedule. This may mean staying in the same town as an ex-wife. It also means sticking with a consistent visitation schedule that includes weekends and weekdays. After all, parenting is not only a weekend job.
When a father is spending time with his children, while of course it is nice to sprinkle in some fun time, it is also important to put time aside for things like homework and bedtime stories. Then, when it does come to fun, remember that cuddling on the couch watching Saturday morning cartoons means a whole lot to small children. Time together does not always have to mean going out to do the latest and greatest things.
Lastly, stay involved. This means attending all soccer games or being there for the school open house. Children notice these things. And, along these same lines, kids grow from knowing that their dad cares about who they are. This is why it is vital for a father to tell his children how proud he is.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorced, But Fathering Well,” Marie Hartwell-Walker, Jan. 4, 2012
- In an ideal situation, both parents will be able to put aside their differences for the sake of their children. Sadly though, this does not always happen. If this sounds familiar, visit our St. Louis fathers’ rights page.