If you’re a single dad, you might sometimes feel like there’s a lot of pressure on you. You want to raise your kids the right way and provide for them, but at the same time, you want to enjoy your own life. You must find ways to balance some personal pleasure while still caring for your children and providing them with everything they need.
Let’s go over a few ways you might make your kids’ lives easier. If you do everything on this list, you make it much more likely that you and your children will get along.
Take Co-Parenting Courses
You and your spouse might have divorced, or maybe you’re still married, but you separated from each other. Either way, your kids are probably dividing time between your house and that of your ex.
If that’s happening, you should strongly consider taking some co-parenting courses. These courses give you some of the tools you need so that both you and your ex can take the best care of your kids.
In these classes, experts can teach you and your ex how to create a plan and stick with it. If you implement the techniques that they teach you, your kids won’t feel any friction as they divide time between the two households.
Don’t Engage in Drug or Alcohol Use When Your Kids are Around
If you and your ex see the kids alternate weeks or whatever other system you’ve worked out, make sure that you stay sober when you have the children. If you like to indulge in some alcoholic beverages or enjoy smoking a joint because you live in one of the states where recreational weed is legal, that’s fine, but make sure that you do it when your kids are not around.
It’s not that you’re doing anything wrong, but you want to be sober when you have the kids because they will probably rely on you for homework help or to fix dinner for them. They might want you to throw the football around in the backyard or drive them over to a friend’s house.
You can’t do any of that as well if you are under the influence. It’s okay if you like to unwind with a beer or edible, but wait until you have the house to yourself and the kids are with your ex.
Don’t Try to Turn the Kids Against Your Ex
If your kids spend time with both you and your ex, don’t try to turn them against their other parent. Maybe you have some bad feelings related to your ex, and you’d like to say some choice things about them when your kids are around.
Don’t do it. It’s childish, and even if you feel like your ex probably tells the kids some negative or untrue things about you, you should try to take the high road. Your kids will appreciate it if you don’t try to weaponize them against your ex, no matter how angry or bitter you feel or what they did to you in the past.
Only Introduce a New Love Interest if You’re Sure You Have a Future with Them
You may decide once you divorce your ex or separate from them that you want to look for someone new. That’s fine, and there are plenty of online dating services that you might utilize. You could also meet someone at work or in some other context.
You should mention to your new love interest that you have kids, but you should probably not introduce them until you have had at least a few dates. If you feel sure that you and this new person have a future together, then you can introduce the kids to them, but if you’re playing the field, it’s best not to bring the kids into contact with everyone you date. It will only confuse them.
Make Yourself Available to Them
One more thing that you can do for your kids is to make sure that you’re always available to them, even on days or weeks when they are with the other parent.
If they call and want to talk to you, try to listen to them and respect their feelings. Kids can take their parents separating extremely hard, and you want to tell them they have valid feelings, and you love them unconditionally. It’s not always easy to do this, but it’s essential to letting them know that they are loved and cared for. It also might be the case that they need help with their homework, so make sure that you brush up on your middle school science curriculum! Or, they may just want to have a chat with you about their life. You need to be available no matter the reason.
If you do these things, then you and your kids should maintain a strong, healthy relationship.
This is a contributed post and therefore may not reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author