Not so long ago, when a couple with children split, the mother was almost always declared the primary custodian. But this isn’t always the case anymore, as sometimes dads can be awarded primary custody or, as is most common, joint custody of the children is awarded by the court, granting both parents equal time and responsibility for raising their children. This is a positive change as far as the well being of the children is concerned, but it can leave divorced dads with a variety of challenges which they may or may not be prepared for. Here are 3 pieces of valuable advice for single dads, to help you be the best father you can be.
Most wellness experts agree that the key to a truly happy life is balance; balance of work, play, family, friends, social time and personal time, etc. Finding this balance, however, can be exponentially more challenging for single parents, as they find themselves responsible for so many extra duties throughout the course of a day, as well as extra “roles,” playing the part of both mom and dad at once. The number one piece of advice for single dads is to find your balance, whatever it takes. This may mean taking some time out for your self, which is okay. Parents tend to feel guilty for indulging their personal needs, but in the long run, doing so will make you a happier person and, therefore, a better parent.
The saying “all you need is love” is pretty true from the perspective of a child. Especially in the case of new dads with infant children it’s important to remember that babies’ needs are actually pretty simple: food, shelter, love. Keep this in perspective and you will find more joy in your new adventure as a single dad, and significantly less stress.
Single dads and single moms have one thing in common; they most often cannot do it all alone. The major difference then, between single dads and single moms lies in their respective abilities to ask for help. As a single or divorced dad, you are equally capable of caring for and nurturing your children, but there is no shame in asking for assistance from time to time. If you have willing friends or family members close by, that’s best, but if you have to hire a trusted babysitter to grab yourself a little “me” time, that’s okay too. Remember, to be the best parent you can be to your children, you have to find balance in your own life.
By making the effort to find that all-important sense of balance, remembering that love is the number one thing children really need, and ditching that often ingrained fear of asking for help, single dads can provide a nurturing environment for their children while also developing a solid bond and a fulfilling parent-child relationship for life.
Author: Keith Hancock