As many dads in New Jersey know, sometimes moms get primary custody of their children after a divorce. Whether this is a mutual decision or one made by a judge, it can be challenging for a dad to adjust to seeing his children less often. Most professionals agree that it is important for children to have a healthy relationship with both parents. If you are a dad who wants to prioritize your relationship with your child after a divorce, here are some things you can do to keep that connection strong.
Support Their Interests
Every child is passionate about something: sports, science, playing an instrument, or even playing video games. Your child wants to feel supported as they pursue their interests, and this is a very easy way for you to stay connected. It’s also great to encourage your children to pursue these interests because many of them will come in handy in the real world. For example, did you know that professional video game players can make hundreds of thousands of dollars for winning one tournament? If you support your kid’s interests, you’re helping them build lifelong skills.
Make the Most of Your Time Together
When you do have time to spend with your child, make sure you’re present in the moment. It’s easy to allow work to bleed into our personal lives, but make sure this isn’t the case when you’re with your kid. Save work calls and nonessential tasks for a time when you don’t have your child, and prioritize play and other quality time activities instead. Children don’t require too much attention to feel loved and connected to their parents. They just don’t want to feel like you’re too busy to care.
Don’t Speak Poorly Of Their Mother
You are a great dad, and you want your children to have the best lives. In most cases, this means that they should have a healthy relationship with both parents. If you went through a divorce recently, it can be very challenging to keep negative opinions about your ex to yourself. You’re free to vent about your frustrations, but it’s important to save that talk for other adults and not let it let your children hear. It’s important for them to maintain a good relationship with their mother even if you and she are not on the same page. This will benefit your kids in the long run; they may turn out to be more well-adjusted than a child whose co-parents are in constant conflict.
Be There for the Hard Times
If the divorce is recent, your child is probably struggling with some difficult emotions. In the same way that it was probably challenging for you to adjust to your post married life, your child could be having adjustment issues and confusing feelings about what their new life will look like. It’s important that you are there to listen to your child, validate their feelings, and even seek professional assistance when necessary. This will show your child that they can come to you when difficult issues arise in the future – a great precedent for you to set before your child grows up and starts to navigate more difficult issues.