Each year for Father's Day we offer some tips and solutions to the common dilemma's of divorced fathers and stepfathers. Please read on for more information on how to make this year's father's day a memorable one.
Dads, let this Father's Day be a reminder to you that even though you may not see the kids as often, that you are still their teacher, their guide and their one and only father. Honor your role as you continue to lead your children to be strong in character, in self-confidence and in self worth.
A few tips for fathers of divorce:
Continue to Father. You must continue to teach and guide---even if your time with your child is too short.
Exact Good Manners. The father teaches rules of the game, sportsmanship, respect for others, self-discipline and persistence. "We look each other in the eye when we talk, we allow each other to finish talking before we start to talk, we do not interrupt," and more.
Respect. Children must treat their father with respect in order to respect themselves. If you are partnered, know that it is often emotionally difficult for your children to look at and treat your partner, and even you, with respect, teach them anyway.
Structure and Establish Positive Rules. If you are alone, decide the rules of your house. If you have a new partner, decide together on the rules of "our" house. Check out The Family Rules Book for ideas on how to accomplish this.
Honor your Partner's Point of View. Know your partner's perspective is to be honored. She may have a different point of view on how your children should act, but remember, women have been teaching social skills since the time of the caveman.
Don't Overindulge. No time to discipline? Beware of becoming a fly-me, buy-me dad; A "Disneyland Dad." You are in good company. Most dads whose children visit are tempted just to be a pal dad. Know that kids need fathering.
Be Informed. If there are difficulties, give yourself the gift of information.
Do not Badmouth your Ex. If the other parent badmouths you? Teach your kids to handle it. Tell them they must respect both points of view and that taking sides only hurts them.
CO-Parent. Remember, there are NO ex-parents, only ex spouses. CO-parenting with your ex is vital. What about the stepfather?
He is the male leader in his home, the mother's home. Yes together, they are male and female head of house. Just as is the father and stepmother is in dad's house.
Have a Happy Father's Day. Just do it!
Reprinted with the permission of the Stepfamily Foundation. © 2008, Stepfamily. All rights reserved.
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