Men’s issues: Maintaining contact with children after divorce. You are a father who cares a lot about his children. You want to maintain a deep, loving bond with them. And they feel the same way. Even if they can’t or don’t say it, your children desperately want to continue their contact with you after your divorce.
Many singles spend their week-end partying and meeting the opposite sex. You spend yours with your children and consider yourself lucky to have them. You are a father who cares a lot about his children.
You want to maintain a deep, loving bond with them. And they feel the same way. Even if they can’t or don’t say it, your children desperately want to continue their contact with you after your divorce.
Here are seven hints for maintaining contact:
1. Let them know where you are. Make certain your children have your address and your phone number. If a telephone call is feasible, encourage them to call you.
2. Let them know what to expect. Tell them in advance when you will see them.
3. Establish a regular schedule of contact that you can maintain. A schedule, even an informal schedule, gives children some idea of what to expect. At the very least have a definite time to pick them up and a definite time to bring them home.
4. Establish continuity. Start a project that spans several visits or requires follow-up during your time apart. Have a pet for them to see each time. Even a goldfish will work. One father told CyberParent he used a small tent in the living room for his son’s special spot. The tent was dismantled between visits but was always up and ready when the child returned.
5. Communicate. Learn to talk to your children at their own age level. But be careful. Many men talk down to children without even realizing they are doing this.
6. Call or write between visits. Be part of daily activities. Telephone as often as possible. Write short notes and/or send photographs of your last visit together.
7. Maintain additional contact through the school. Even visit for lunch when possible. Take part in your children’s extracurricular activities, too. Every opportunity should be used to have extra personal contact with your children.
Your children need two parents and they want you. They are worth the trouble it takes to stay in touch.
Their growing up time is very short. Don’t miss it, Dad!