There’s plenty of divorce advice out there for women, and provide tips for everything from maintaining sanity, to prioritizing the children. However, there is a less literature for fathers who may be just as traumatized by the divorce. You can make a divorce less stressful on yourself, by following these simple tips.
1. Reconnect with Your Children
Look at the divorce as a way for you to actually reconnect with your children, without any interference or conditioning by your ex-spouse. Chances are that you may have lost connection with your children, while the marriage was unraveling. A divorce gives you a chance to begin on a fresh slate, to integrate back into their lives and have the kind of relationship with your children that you always dreamed of.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t set unreal expectations of yourself. You don’t have to be the father who draws out surprises at the drop of a hat, or plans extravagant birthday parties, at a moment’s notice. Set your own standards and expectations for yourself, and live up to these.
3. You are a Parent and a Father
Avoid feeling guilty about what has happened, and feeling the need to spend extravagantly on the children to make up for the loss in their lives. You are a father, not a clown – your job is not to keep them constantly entertained. Many fathers make the mistake of trying to be the “fun” parent, that the children want to be with when they are spending time with their father. That can be a mistake.
4. Co-parent Respectfully
Adjust your mindset that your children are going to need psychological counseling, because they have witnessed their parents’ divorce. Children are much more resilient than you think, and if you and your spouse are respectful to each other and prioritize your children, there may not be any reason why they should not adapt well to the changed circumstances of their family life.
5. Avoid Turning your Children against your ex-spouse
Avoid projecting your issues with your spouse on to your children. Your children are not an extension of your ex-spouse. Avoid comparisons with the other parent, and don’t try to get your child to side with you against the other parent.
Speak to a lawyer about how you can protect your parenting time and visitation rights.
This article is not legal or financial advice. You should contact a lawyer, accountant and/or financial professional in your state to discuss the specifics or your case and applicable laws.