American Life News

How To Be A Great Divorced Dad

Story by Patrick A. Coleman

After getting divorced, dads facing single parenthood often feel unmoored. Many feel they’ve lost a teammate in the parenting struggling. Others find themselves parenting alone — albeit intermittently — for the first time. Exacerbating the practical problems is the emotional context. Kids aren’t all emotionally volatile in the wake of a divorce, but many struggle with the emotional fallout. Given these compounding issues, it’s not surprising that divorced dads often become highly permissive or toy crazy. But giving kids what they want is different than giving kids what they need. Being a great divorced dad is all about managing circumstances to create normalcy while showcasing thoughtfulness and love. It is immensely difficult, but doable long as fathers prioritize self-care.

“Dads need to make sure that they are taking care of themselves if they are going to be able to be the ‎best dad for their kids,” explains Dr. Mark Borg Jr., psychologist and author of Relationship Sanity: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Relationships. He notes that dads have a propensity to want to ignore their own losses in order and focus on ameliorating the pain their child might be feeling. This is an admirable impulse, but not really a healthy one.

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