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How a father can stay connected to his kids through divorce

Although custody battles can put a significant strain on parent-child relationships, moms and dads still have a responsibility to maintain a connection with their children. Michigan divorce proceedings can be difficult on some fathers, who often are shut out of their children's lives because of animosity and resentment from their former spouse.

Parents sometimes don't know about fathers' rights and they find themselves alienated by children who will not return their calls or acknowledge their presence. Some mothers even file false abuse claims or use other nefarious methods to keep fathers away from their kids. Despite these threats, fathers have a number of personal options to assert their paternity.

Fathers can use a variety of specialized tactics to encourage the father-child relationship. The most important element of repairing and maintaining a relationship with a child is consistent attention; children need to be nurtured, cared for and loved. Without constant contribution and effort, even the strongest relationship can deteriorate after a divorce. Parents must demonstrate that they are dependable, trustworthy, loving and empathetic throughout the entire process.

Fathers are particularly urged to continue to play with their children. Play can include time in the park, coloring or board games. Teenaged children might enjoy playing video games. Parents can learn a lot about their kids by the way in which they play.

Talking to children is also an important part of the relationship because it allows children to share their feelings about the divorce. Conversation also allows fathers to share loving thoughts and be supportive.

Additionally, fathers can improve their relationships with their children by participating in activities outside of the home such as attending sporting events or getting involved in school functions. Parents who split up don't have to divorce their kids, too. They can maintain healthy relationships by following these simple tips.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Don't Divorce Your Kids," Nancy Fagan, Feb. 2, 2012

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