It's the first Father's Day following your divorce, and all sorts of parenting issues are coming up.
According to Allison Pescosolido, M.A. and Andra Brosh, Ph.D, experts in divorce recovery, and founders of Divorce Detox, "All divorce firsts are a little nerve racking."
While newly single moms may struggle with feeling alone for the first time on Father's Day, Dads have their challenges too. Explains Brosh, "Newly divorced dads get concerned about doing the 'right thing' for Father's Day, mostly because their ex-wives used to plan the celebrations."
And then there are the issues in your marriage that led to your divorce in the first place. Those feelings don't always evaporate after the divorce papers are signed.
But you and your ex still have something very important in common-- your kids. Notes Pescosolido, "When divorcing couples are asked what they consider to be their greatest gift from their marriage, they almost unanimously say it's their children."
Related: Best Gifts for Kids After a Divorce
Pescosolido and Brosh are sharing their tips on how to be a good parent after divorce... for Father's Day and beyond.
Parenting After Divorce
1. Remember that you are a role model for your children at all times. They are looking to you and learning from your words, actions and behaviors. Become aware of what you want them to take in and absorb as they grow. Whatever you teach them will influence how they treat and relate to outside of the home.
2. Process your feelings in an appropriate forum, not with your Ex. The more you can express your negative emotions and experiences with a professional, the more likely you are to interact with your Ex in a more productive way. It’s hard to remain in control if you suppress your feelings.
3. Do things for yourself that relieve stress. The build up of stress in the body can go unnoticed leading to chronic symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, depression, and irritability. Do things that you love, that calm and nurture your mind and body. Taking time to nourish yourself also models for your children an important aspect of maintaining optimal well-being.
4. Put yourself first. The oxygen mask theory is not just a theory, its very real. You cannot parent or nurture your children effectively if you are not taking care of yourself. Children benefit from seeing parents caring for themselves, they like to know that you are well and happy. It makes them feel safe.
More from GalTime:
- Why Do So Many Divorced Parents in Movies Get Back Together?
- Should Facebook Lower the Age of Admittance?
- Dads and Daughters: A Bond Like No Other
- Why Are Our Kids Hurting Themselves?
Allison Pescosolido, M.A. and Andra Brosh, Ph.D. are experts in Divorce Recovery and starting over. They co-founded Divorce Detox, a full service center to transform the lives of individuals transitioning through divorce. With advanced degrees in the field of Psychology, and as certified Grief Recovery Specialists® by The Grief Recovery Institute, Andra and Allison are proactively challenging and changing the stigma of divorce on a national level.
Photo Credit: Laura Grier