The relationship is over with your child’s mother; maybe you never had one with her from the start. That matters little now. At this point, the best you can do is to work on becoming the greatest single father you can. Single fathers can catch a great deal of denunciation from the media. Most single fathers of color are portrayed as men ducking courts, children and jobs. In reality, that is not as true as local news and social media would like the public to think. There are millions of single Black fathers who are doing everything they can in order to be in their children’s lives. Here are a few tips for single dads.
Do Not Talk Bad about the Mother All of your friends, your parents and people on Twitter who follow you understand that you are not a fan of your child’s mother. That does not give you the excuse to talk malicious about her in front of your son or daughter. Most likely if you were in a failed relationship with the child’s mother the boy or girl has heard enough arguments for a lifetime. There indeed are many mothers out there who try to make a father walk through Hades in order to see his child but that is still not an excuse to fire back. This is not the time to tell everyone who will listen how crazy the mother of your children is. If the mother is not letting you see your child, cutting your time short or cancelling dates that you have scheduled with your children then let her know your point of view from a civilized perspective. If that does not work, let the courts know what tactics she is using via your lawyer.
Have the Whole Day Scheduled Picking up your kids this weekend? Make sure you have the whole day planned out to the hour. Just facing the facts, most single dads lose out on much time with their children once they move out. As a single dad you will no longer be there to tuck your kids in every night. You will miss out on bath time and you will no longer be able to read them books every evening. This is the direct reason why you must create a strict schedule for the days you are with your children. It will seem odd at first, when you are hanging out with your little princess but you are moving around with her like you are boardroom executive but this will produce optimal output. Make sure you create a map of the day that includes breakfast, bathing (if your children are younger), outdoor events, study time, lunch, dinner and everything else that you and your child will experience that day. Your 24 hours will be crammed but when the weekend is over you will be elated with satisfaction as you look back on your productivity.
Make Events Dads who are single miss out on many monthly events because they are out of the loop with the lesser known events. The good dads make birthdays, graduation, prom and school plays, however the great dads make all the celebrations amid bigger events. Check your son’s school website. There might be athletic matches, school board meetings or PTA events that you would like to attend. Do not forget to show up at back to school night and parent teacher conferences as well as long as your schedule permits. Check with your children. If they have a dentist appointment, drama school practice or soccer exhibition, offer to give them a ride. That extra hour or so with your child can assist in fostering a closer bond and spark great discussions.
Do Not Treat the Stepfather Badly Life goes on. Many new single father’s biggest fear is other men around their children. This is an understandable phobia, but the odds are against your ex staying single forever. Just as you are adjusting to single life and stepping back into the dating pool, so is your ex. If she chooses to get married, do not treat the man that she dedicates her life to atrociously. There are dozens of internet memes of children yelling disrespectful words to step dads. These young children proclaiming that they do not have to listen to these men because they are not their biological fathers. This is sad and untrue. The majority of stepfathers are great role models and upstanding patriarchs. One factor that plays a major role in how to deal with stepfathers is how young the child is once the stepfather marries the mother. If a child is three when the mother marries her new love, that child could be living at least 15 years with her mother’s husband. Because of this you cannot write the stepfather off as a cheap imitation. Be cordial and understand that in the end he will spend more time with your children than you will so having a respectful relationship with him will only benefit all the persons in the equation.