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Divorced Dad Help.

 

Keep an eye on the kids.

The start of a new living arrangement is difficult enough for us as adults, but it can be especially hard on the children.  So, before we worry about all the problems we will face as newly single fathers, let’s consider the children.  Ultimately, they are our first priority.  While we are dealing with all sorts of issues in our heads about our lost relationship, we still need to remember that.  This change may be much harder on them.  Here are some warning signs that the kids may be affected:

Inability to relax
Anxious
Frequently sick
Denial of obvious things, like mom’s absence
Uncontrollable rage or temper tantrums
Lethargic
Always wanting to be secluded
Blaming themselves
Loss of interest in activities
Changes in eating habits
Depression
Talk of suicide

Common reactions by age:

Infant to Two:
Minimal reaction, as long as the nurturing continues as it was before.

Two to Four years old:
Children may regress a little bit in development.  Some examples would be wetting when was not present before, returning to diapers, thumb sucking, loss of appetite.

Three to Six:
This age group may exhibit some helplessness or fear.  There may be some sleep issues or changing eating habits.  These kids are more accustomed to two parent homes, and may have a harder time accepting and understanding why “mommy is gone”.

Six to Eight:
At these ages, children may have some feelings that dad will also leave.  There may be issues with eating and sleeping, and some children may hang on to an unrealistic hope that there may be reconciliation.  Some of these kids may also decide to side with one parent over another, especially in the presence of outside influences.

Eight to Twelve:
Anger may come into play a little more here at these ages.  It may be directed at one or both parents, especially if the kids blame themselves for the divorce.  There may be also some feeling of helplessness.  These emotions can also create eating and sleeping problems.

Twelve to Eighteen:
Some of these kids are almost unaffected and some will exhibit rebellious behaviors.  Some may also generate negative attitudes regarding their own relationships with the opposite sex.

All of these adjustment periods will vary.  The first year will most likely be the hardest.  If you notice any of these issues, seek help as soon as possible.  As a father, you can help the children adjust by always keeping the lines of communication open.  Try to encourage the children to share their feelings, offer sympathy, and always focus on the positive.  Always tell them you love them and will be there for them.  Assure them that their mother loves them and will always be there for them as well.  Never badmouth their mother in front of them.

Our articles are created with the hope of assisting fathers, children, and families through these trying, extremely difficult times of separation and divorce. Through the Internet we hope to share our knowledge and empower fathers at the times when they feel the most lost and hopeless. I wish my fellow single fathers the best of luck and hope we can all survive the bitterness and pain of divorce, and keep our children happy and safe.

Finally - GOOD LUCK!

PLEASE, try to remain amicable.  It is really in everyone's best interests.  The lawyers get all the money when people play games.  Good luck.

Some other resources:

Get divorce papers online

Men's Divorce Tactics

Surviving Divorce

Help the kids survive Divorce

The Divorce Primer

 

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