SingleDad.com offers on-line parenting classes specifically for the Newly Divorced, Single Father with children. Learn 3 FREE tips on effective Co-Parenting from SingleDad Coaching services.
Let’s face it; most newly divorced men don’t have a clue where to start with their new Single Parent Household. The new life demands balance between family, career, and managing a cohesive relationship with an ex-spouse. Most on-line, divorce resources and support classes cater to Mom’s. Single Dad Coaching is different. SingleDad Coaching is all about Dad’s helping Dad’s. This isn’t any counseling session. This is just straight talk with other Dad’s who have made it through the same every day challenges that a father faces after divorce. You can Click here to enroll into your FREE, initial 30 -minute, online parenting program specific to your Single Parent needs.
The following information in this article was taken from a coaching session. Learn 3 key tips on effective Co-Parenting Skills from SingleDad Coaching.
Tip #1 : Develop a Routine
Getting your family on a routine is key for your new single parent household. Everything from meal times, sleep times and weekly chores around the house should have some type of schedule. In general, if your children are between the ages of 5 to 14, this type of scheduling and asking them to adhere to a household structure is good for many reasons. Most kids like the stability that routines offer. Try to think of routine as giving them a sense of security and structure much the same way that a school schedule provides them.
My suggestion is to post a re-usable, weekly calendar of Sunday thru Saturday available for all family members to see and post the variety of activities. Put the core daily routine activities down and the approximate times that these activities need to be done by, ( Example: wake up times, breakfast, school shuttle pick up and drop offs, after school homework, snack, sport practice, dinner, homework review, baths, bed time). Leave room for any “extra” activities that you plan that week to add in such as weekend chores or special family events planned.
Having a weekly calendar lets your family see how much work goes into planning and having everything run smoothly as a Single Parent. It also allows both Dad and child to see what is fair and reasonable to fit in the weekly schedule. This calendar also provides an excellent parenting tool for communicating commitment and responsibility to all children. Sometimes, this calendar teaches the parent more than the child on keeping their commitment and knowing when to say “No” when adding events that cannot be managed into the schedule.
Tip #2: The Tool Box of Communication
The most common challenge I face when coaching a newly divorced dad on parenting is learning how to emotionally communicate as a Father. Every Father needs to look at their communication skills like a tool in a tool box. However, sometimes Fathers just resort to using one tool in the tool box, and forget that there are a variety tools that they can use to manage their family environment. Don’t just use the “hammer” for all of your household projects like using anger as the only way to communicate with your kids.
Be aware that you might be doing this. I see too many newly divorced dads communicate their feelings though an angry tome with their children. This miscommunication only instills fear and a household shuts down of any open communication. Learn how to talk with your children by just taking that extra breath; explain what you are trying to accomplish in terms of how your child can help change the results:
“Daddy is feeling tired and needs your help doing …. Or, Daddy is not mad at you, Daddy is feeling…. And needs your help doing….”
These are great ways to help your child understand the situation of how you are feeling and what they can do to help fix the situation to the desired result. Tone and volume of your speech are important to everybody and many times Dad’s just don’t see that they are taking the wrong “speaking tool” out of their communication tool box.
One final note on communication; you have two ears and one mouth. Keep the ratio of listening-to-speaking at 2 to 1 and asking more questions to your children when you don’t understand them. I found that asking just “one more time” and listening to my children saved me valuable information on assessing many everyday situations at home.
Tip #3: Managing mistakes
The Modern Single Parent Family is all about managing mistakes. Big or small, we all make mistakes. Taking these mistakes as learning tools and using the wisdom for the future will always make you a better parent. Just make sure that if you made the mistake as a Father, you own up to it and offer an apology. Be present in the communication of your apology to your child. It is always best to make the apology as soon as you can; however, do not beat yourself up if you decide to offer it later. The point to every apology for a Father is to identify the wrong doing, Identify how it may have hurt your child’s feelings in a way that you didn’t intend to do. Conclude the apology to your child by explaining that you are human and you regret that the mistake was made, however, you have learned from it as your child’s father and that it won’t happen again. Fathers are role models and we try to do the best we can each and every day. Teaching your child that you are human and accept your humility is an important life lesson of fatherhood.
For more information on your FREE Online Parenting class with SingleDad Coaching Services, click here.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”