Many fathers experience a lot of guilt after a divorce. Even if you’ve been a model parent for the most part, you might still feel responsible for the demise of your marriage and its impact on your family. According to Men’s Health, there are plenty of steps that can be taken to improve your relationship with your children, and the best time to take these steps is right now.
While rules are important for kids, don’t go too far out of your way to be a disciplinarian. It might take some time to reconfigure the dynamic between you and your children, especially if you’re the noncustodial parent. Implement rules and offer guidelines, but also make sure you’re really listening to your kids and respecting their point of view. Compromise is healthy for a family, as it makes kids feel heard while also ensuring parents can effectively protect their brood from potential risks.
It’s also important for kids to be able to develop their own personalities. While it can be tempting to use your children to fulfill dreams you chased in adolescence, such as being a sports star, this is a surefire way to alienate your children and cause mental strife. Instead, encourage them to pursue their own hopes and dreams, and be there to support them when they need it.
Lastly, make sure you’re there for your kids as much as possible. This can be a bit more difficult when living in two different homes, but don’t let work obligations or a social life get in the way of being a parent. When visits are scheduled, do your best to follow through. You can also volunteer to spend time with your kids on other occasions, such as when your ex is working late and needs a babysitter.