Dads and Divorce – Michael Becker

We feel like dads get a bit of a raw deal in the divorce. In most cases, mom is more likely to have the majority of contact leaving dads feeling disconnected.

Put together a thoughtful parenting plan that works with dad’s schedule; it’s not about 50/50 time, it’s just about time with each parent. A lot of dads feel like they need to plan a big event so that kids will want to be with them. Not true. Any time you spend is valuable and counts, even if it’s just driving the carpool, or being on the sidelines of a soccer game.

Moms can help support dads time by considering what strengths he brings. And don’t say, “he doesn’t!” Maybe he’s the one that’s strong at math, or can teach them to cook. When you’re married it’s natural to bounce back and forth, but it becomes more demarcated when the kids are spending time with you individually.

Moms can also Include dad on all emails so he’s in the loop. It’s easier than ever with documents online. Share a calendar that copies him on school events and teacher meetings even if he can’t make it.

The dad’s social life also tends to take a huge hit. When you’re in a family, you tend have a built-in social connection. But men are typically the ones to leave the community in addition to the family home. One thing dads can do is to find groups with similar hobbies to get back in circulation, like a pick-up basketball game or networking group. When you feel good about yourself, you’re a better dad. Support Groups that are specific for men may be helpful because men don’t tend to “talk” and open up to each other the way women do. This is a great way to share your struggles and get ideas.

Technology offers so many ways to stay in touch frequently, like Facetime before bed, or a random text during the day. And when it comes to dads and daughters, the separation can feel even deeper because there are so many topics more comfortably addressed by mom. But your daughter very much needs her dad, especially as she starts to form her own relationships. The way you treat her helps her form opinions about the kind of men she’ll choose in her life.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be.

About the Author Barb & Jo

Through the process of our own divorces, Barb Hazelton and Jo Briggs learned more than they ever needed or wanted to know. Through their friendship, shared experiences, and connections through navigating their own divorces, they created this video series. They've been where you are and they hope Single Process can make it easier for you by connecting you to their resources.