A Parenting Tip for Divorced Dads: Don’t move too far away from your kids after divorce
I just read a tweet on Twitter that inspired this post.
It is true, I think, that some divorced dads pick up and move a huge amount of miles away from their kids when the marriage ends to the detriment of their relationship with their children. It is understandable that in some cases that these fathers may want some space and some distance. But it is not always the best thing for the children and for this man’s relationship with his kids. It is not in the best interest of the child when daddy is so far gone. The further away you move, fellas, the less often you will see the kids. Absence may make the heart grow fonder but not with kids. Out of sight begins to be out of mind and before you know it they are teenagers and they don’t need you anymore.
My advice, unsolicited though it may be is to try to stay as close as possible to the kids. I am talking within walking distance so that you can still pick them up and drop them off from school and you can even have family dinners (with the ex) if the situation will permit, and you can go with them pediatrician and to the ball games and to the parent teachers meetings. This cannot be an after thought or something that happens if it is convenient at that moment.
Having a long lasting, healthy relationship with your children means you are going to have to be there and stay involved and be an active participant in their lives. Don’t imagine for one minute that seeing them once per year and taking them away on a fancy vacation during the summer and paying child support during the year makes you father of the year. It does not.
Just because your status has down shifted to “divorced dad” does not mean your children don’t need you as much as if you were still married to their mother. If she is alienating the children from you that is another story. But as much as possible you need to try to stay involved in the every day upbringing and lives of your children.