April 17, 2013

The importance of responsible parenting for divorced fathers

Being a parent can be hard regardless of one’s marital status, but it is often particularly difficult for people who have gone through the breakup of a marriage. For Michigan parents trying to balance their careers, newly single social lives, and the needs of their children, it can be easy to neglect certain aspects of a child’s care after divorce.

Many divorced fathers effectively provide their children with a fun and carefree upbringing but fail to properly handle more complex, stressful, emotionally difficult tasks required of a single parent. However, mastering mature parenting skills allow Michigan men to ensure their children feel secure and loved as well as give them the things they need to excel in life.

Some of the problems involved in being a divorced father arise from ideas about gender roles, marriage and child rearing that are usually considered antiquated but still effect parents today. For instance, many divorced fathers find that their employers are hesitant to give them time off for crucial parenting duties, such as taking their children to a doctor’s appointment, school functions or other similar events. This is because many employers still view mothers as primary parents and take fathers less seriously as caregivers, making it difficult for such men to devote an appropriate amount of time and attention to their children.

However, experts say it is important for divorced fathers to put the needs of their children first. Their children may be pleased by the unchecked fun and freedom when they are young, but older children are likely to view inattentive fathers as distant and unreliable as they age. Children generally thrive on structure and feel safer around responsible, mature parents. Those without a positive and involved male role model can even develop depression and low self-esteem as they get older.

Attorneys can help fathers have the same rights as women in parenting roles, and more and more men are requesting equal shared custody of their children, if not full custody.

Source: Huffington Post, “The ‘Uncle Dad Syndrome’: When Divorced Dads Act Like Carefree Uncles and Why Their Kids Feel Cheated,” Alison Patton, April 2, 2013