Moms get most of the focus and support when it comes to divorce. I know in some cases that is the whole truth…some men can be scum bags. It seems like a natural bias to think of dad as the bad guy. I was guilty of this too. Until it happened to my brother.
One minute, everything was fine and the next minute he was locked out of his house while his wife refused to let him see his kids for months. 2 lawyers and several court cases later, he was able to get joint parenting rights. But THAT whole divorce mess is a story for another day.
What did happen was that she was able to live in the family home and he was forced to start over with nothing…while paying all of the family home bills and attorney fees. He had to become a phoenix and rebuild from the ashes. He didn’t have a choice because his kids needed him.
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR KIDS THROUGH DIVORCE
Being a good dad while going through messy divorce is hard. The most important thing to remember is that your kids need you. They need you to make them feel safe, cared for and provide some sort of stability. Divorced dads are just as important in your kids lives as their mom is. You are needed!
Stability comes in many forms. The first is to provide a home where they know what to expect. What are the rules? What are the consequences if they break the rules? When is bedtime? Do they have chores?
Structure might seem like a pain to setup and keep in place at first. Most of divorced dads have never had to create chore charts or rules lists. Dads don’t usually have to worry about buying poster board for school projects or finding both shoes in the morning so the kids are not late for school.
IDEAS TO CREATE STABILITY FOR YOUR KIDS
- Sit down with your kids and talk about what rules you have in your house. Remind them that the rules may be different that what they have in mom’s house. Write them down and put them on a list on your fridge or a bulletin board so everyone can see them.
- Write down the consequences for breaking the rules you’ve decided on as a family.
- Create a set bedtime for school nights and for weekends.
- What are your rules about having friends over? Do you have to be home or can friends come over while you’re at work? Spell everything out for your kids.
- What about homework? Does it need to be done before they can watch TV or play on the computer or video games?
- We have a rule in our house that clothes need to be set out the night before (morning basket) . No TV or computer time until this is done. It makes it easy for me to see if the kids needs me to wash another load or buy a new pair of shoes because the sole came off at mom’s house and she didn’t buy them more.
- What about curfew for the older kids?
- What are your expectations about grades and homework?
- What fun things would the kids like to do with you for family time? Schedule a day to do something fun to help you all connect at least once a month. This doesn’t mean they get to do what you want to do…this is something they want to do with you. Fair warning…you may end up driving around playing Pokemon Go or end up at a “Why Don’t We Concert”.
- Create a list on the fridge where the kids can write down things that they need from the store ( like poster board for school). If they use the last of the milk and you need more…they older kids can write it down.
DONE FOR YOU
If you are looking for something that is already completed and ready for you to print and use you are going to love this Divorced Dad’s Guide To Stopping The Chaos planner that I put together for you. It is filled with printable pages that you can use and re-use to help make your kids feel safe and loved in your home.
The planner is normally $97 but you can get it for only $37 today when you click here. This is a special for my blog readers to show my thanks for supporting me.
Let me know in the comments below about what you need for support as a divorced dad. I want to help you be the very best single dad in the world!