Divorce Advice for DadsThe Ultimate Guyvorce Guide
Note: This article is for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice. The laws vary in each jurisdiction and readers should seek professional advice from a licensed attorney in the appropriate state.
For most newly divorced dads, the hardest part is transitioning from being a full-time, all-the-time, dad to a part-time one.
Something shifts when you go from being with your children all day, every day to being with them only a few precious hours a week and every other weekend. A disconnect occurs in your relationship with them. Especially if your kids blame you for the divorce. Whether or not it’s your fault really doesn’t matter here. What matters is that you put in the work to keep your bond alive and strong.
Dads who make the effort, who get up at 5 AM on a Saturday to help drive the team across town for the big game, those dads are real. Kids only care that you’re there to hold them high when they win big and pick them up when they fall. It’s not that it’s harder to be a dad at a distance. It just takes action on your part to make it happen. When you were home, you’d see your kids everyday and chatting here and there came with relative ease. When you’re not there anymore, being in tune to your child’s needs and meeting them quickly and effectively seems like a thing of the past. But it doesn’t have to be. We put together this ultimate guide on divorce advice for dads specifically because we get it, and we’re here to help.
You Can Be a Better Dad Post Divorce
Yep! It’s true! You can be a better dad post-divorce than you were in the marriage. We have a name for dads like that around here. We call them Phenomenal Dads.
Why? The short answer is that you no longer have the tension of a looming and unceremonious end to your marriage hanging over your head. It happened. You survived it. Your kids did, too. You’re now on their level and share something with them.
Far too often, men retreat from their kids because it’s the easy thing to do. And, they’re right. It is easier to create distance. But you’re a dad. That’s not just a reason for receiving that yearly tie you never wear or that coffee mug claiming you’re the, “World’s Greatest Dad.” It’s a real job, a thankless one at that.
Grab on and dig in when you’re ready to give up. Have a busy job that leaves you with almost no free time? Too bad! Make time. Your kids aren’t secondary to whatever else. They’re what you see first and always.
Show Up for Your Kids
Kids don’t care about whatever dumb gizmo they keep begging for and harping on when you hang out. They might claim they do, but that’s only because kids like gizmos. What kid doesn’t?
They’ll soon forget that you bought them that PS4 last Christmas or that you bought that iPhone. Kids are fickle little creatures. They’re too young to know what their needs are. All they see is what’s in front of them.
So that’s where you have to be.
No child ever grew up and said, “My dad went to way too many of my ball games growing up.” It doesn’t happen. There’s a reason for it.
Dads who make the effort, who get up at 5 AM on a Saturday to help drive the team across town for the big game, those dads are real. Kids only care that you’re there to hold them high when they win big and pick them up when they fall.
Those are the stories they’ll tell. That’s how you’ll get them closer to you.
Learn to Love Skype
So you bought the stupid iPhone. Not five minutes later, you forgot why you did.
No problem. I’ll remind you. The reason you spent more money than you should have on that infernal device of Pokemon Go cruelty was because you wanted to connect with your kid. You thought that if you got the phone, he’d have an excuse to call and text you 24/7.
It’s quite the opposite, actually. What you really did was hand him as many reasons as there are Pokemon characters to blow you off. He’s busy trying to catch ‘em all. You, dear dad, can wait.
Technically, he’s right. He’s a kid. He only cares about Pokemon because it’s in front of him. So get clever about how you communicate with him.
At least once a day, just before bedtime is the best time, hop on Skype and ask him about those weird creatures in round balls. Ask him about school, his friends. Ask him about his favorite colors. Whatever! The bottom line here is that you grab your phone and make it happen.
Live Close By (If Possible)
You’re human. You have a focus based on what you see in front of you. What’s important to you, you’ll keep close by.
When looking for your new, dad’s house, consider moving somewhere near your kids. I don’t mean across the street (that’s creepy!) but for sure somewhere in the neighborhood. At a minimum you want to be walking distance from them.
The easier you make it to so something, anything really, the more likely you’ll be to get up and do it. In this context, the closer you are to your kids, the more likely you are to plug into their lives and be the dad you need to be.
If living close by isn’t feasible for you, get as close as you can be.
Summing Up Our Divorce Advice for Dads
Despite what you might feel, she can’t eliminate you from your kids. They’ll forever be your kids. Nothing you or anyone else does will change that.
That’s not nothing! That’s a life-long responsibility that you’ll answer for. It’s not an excuse to put everything on someone else. Set up reminders on your phone if you need to, but be there for everything you can be. Move mountains to see them.
Tuning in to their needs won’t come easy. If we’re being honest, it’s challenging and exhausting. But, dad, that’s what you’re here for.
Divorced with kids
Divorced, no kids