If you are a divorcing father, there is one thing you must remember—you will not ruin your child’s future with your divorce. In fact, if you and your spouse are currently in an unhealthy relationship, separation and divorce are in the best interests of both yourself and your children. However, your worries are understandable, as your children are the most important thing in your life. With careful consideration and hard work on your part, you and your ex-spouse can still create a prosperous future for your children from separate households.
Lead By Example
The effects of different parenting styles on children around the world are well studied yet remain heavily debated. While some research suggests that parental behavior has the strongest impact on the success of a child as they become an adult, other modern research shows the opposite. Many scholars believe that, despite the impacts of parenting techniques and approaches, children eventually embrace their uniqueness and find success in their lives regardless of their parents. No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, after divorce, the most important takeaway is to recognize is that focusing on your own physical and mental health should come first. Modeling self-care and demonstrating love for your children makes it more likely for your children to learn from your example, embrace their individuality, and become successful adults in the future.
Simply put, parents who nurture their children with loving attention and kindness are more likely to imprint that behavior on their children. On the other hand, environments that demonstrate neglect, ignorance, or dishonesty could normalize those qualities in your children. It is critical that after your divorce, you continue to be present in your child’s life, and communicate your life’s experience with them in a positive and encouraging way. No matter their age, your children can carry your mannerisms and the effects of the parenting environment you create into adulthood.
While parenting from different households after divorce, it is crucial to work together with your spouse to ensure your children feel comfortable and loved in both of your homes. One primary example involves children who travel between households after divorce, who benefit immensely from a consistent schedule. Even if it is hard for you to work out a regular schedule with your spouse, this crucial task is essential to providing a positive environment for your child. Keep your children as your top priority and work together to develop a routine that is child-friendly and that you can both commit to.
As an extension of the above technique, allow your child to see that you and your spouse are openly working together to provide what your child needs. Children who see that their parents can cooperate and work together are more likely to develop a healthy understanding of problem solving, particularly within relationships. Allowing your child to see evidence that adults who may not get along can still work towards a common goal will help your child maintain stronger relationships.
Let Go of Resentment and Regain Self Confidence
After a divorce, one of the most important things you can do is to leave behind the resentment, pain, and trauma of the separation. Instead, focus your energies on becoming a confident and genuine individual. Building self-confidence and releasing negativity after divorce continues to set a good example for your child and helps you connect with them on a personal level. It is only with this restored self-confidence that you can be fully present in your relationship with them
In the first months post-divorce, you will have just exited a toxic relationship that was no longer serving you, your children, or their mother. This time of renewal in your life is a wonderful opportunity to take a long, hard look at yourself and rediscover your own passions. Newfound independence and separation from the drama of your relationship with your spouse gives you a chance to find what you may have left behind in earlier stages in your life. In this way, you can become a more genuine version of yourself and can regain your own self confidence. The individual you become when you take the time to reach your own potential is the best example you can make as a father for your children after divorce.
If your relationship with your child is overshadowed by resent or distaste for your spouse and your divorce, you will struggle to foster a meaningful relationship. Once you have restored your sense of self, you and your child can begin to connect with one another on a deep level. As with any relationship, you must find common ground with your children and engage in listening and understanding. Be there in support and focus on your child and their development rather than your relationship with your former spouse.
Make the Most of Visitation
Depending on the contents of your divorce agreement and its child custody and visitation terms, you may be able to spend a considerable amount of time with your child after your divorce. Unfortunately, other fathers find themselves with limited time to pursue a relationship with their children. If you are only able to see your child for short and infrequent periods of time, it is imperative that you make the most out of those opportunities to connect.
Take the opportunity to learn about your child’s hopes, dreams, passions, concerns, and fears, and find ways to support them in exploring the positive and learning more about the negative. Even with limited visitation, you can make an immense impact on your child simply by listening, supporting, and identifying with the experiences your child has had. Much of the time, advice is unnecessary—many children simply need someone to listen to them and provide reassurance that their life has meaning and opportunity. Find the best of yourself in your children.
Schedule a Consultation with a Midwest Father’s Rights Attorney
Whether you are preparing for divorce or simply wish to maintain a positive relationship with your child after divorce, it is critical to understand your rights. At Stange Law Firm, our dedicated attorneys have developed a deep knowledge of father’s rights in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and can help you assert your right to child custody and visitation in court. Your situation is unique, so schedule a consultation with our father’s rights attorneys today to achieve further insight into your case. Learn more about our work and process by visiting our website.