Living Your Life as a Newly Divorced Dad

Going through a divorce is hard, especially when kids are involved. Though you may have survived the divorce process itself, you might be left with a lot of emotions and questions. It's only natural and the stress of the situation can take a toll on you.

As a divorced dad, you can find support from many sources. Whether it be a support group, a counselor, or just a good friend who's been there, you should attempt to talk to someone about your feelings. There are also many other things you can do to make you feel better and help you and your children with the transition.

Is a Fathers' Support Group Right for You?

Men talking support group

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Guys may have a harder time talking about their trials and tribulations, and especially their feelings, but it really can help. If you're uncomfortable with going to a counselor, consider joining a support group for dads. Some even focus on divorced dads.

In a support group, you will find that you have a common bond. Other men will know exactly what you're going through and can give you some advice because they've "been there." It's also a chance to let off some steam, joke with other guys, and find new friends.

Along the way, you may also pick up some much-needed information that can be applied to your life and really make a difference.

Learn the Keys to Success

A divorce poses challenges for everyone involved. As a dad who is no longer living with your kids, it can be very difficult and the transition may be harder than you expected.

Not only will you worry about how your kids are coping, but you're faced with new living circumstances and, quite often, a feeling of emptiness. After all, your family was a big part of your life, so it's only natural.

Yet, the reality of the situation is that you need to make the best of it. This means maintaining a relationship with your kids and finding a new balance in your own life. The happier and healthier you are, the better off you'll be for the kids.

Keep Close and Keep in Touch

You have a lot of decisions to make after a divorce and one of those is where you're going to live. Studies have shown that kids do better after a divorce if both parents are nearby. This makes visitation easier and ensures that you remain a part of their regular lives and activities.

Sometimes, that is not always possible and you will need (or want) to move further away. Long-distance relationships with your kids are just as important. Little things like regular phone calls or surprise gifts can make a big impact on your kids' happiness.

Make Your Home Kid-Friendly

One thing that you do want to establish is that your new home also becomes your child's home. They shouldn't feel like it's a 'visit,' but more of a second home.

To help this out, be sure to make your home as inviting to your kids as possible. Hang photos, establish traditions and rules, give them their own room, and make sure they have all the comforts of home.

It can make a big difference in their happiness and your relationship if they don't feel like they're walking into a bachelor's pad on the weekend.

Know How to Handle the Holidays

Your first holiday as a divorced dad is going to be rough, there's no denying that. The family life you had was filled with traditions and happiness and Christmas and other holidays do not let us forget that.

Recognizing that this year will not be the same is a good first step to preparing yourself for the event. It also affords you the opportunity to make plans to combat the loneliness.

Schedule a time to celebrate the holidays with your kids. Establish new traditions and get them involved in planning your holiday activities. Most importantly, stay positive. It will help you and the kids have a much better time.

Coping With the New Stepfather

Many divorced dads dread the day when their ex-wife gets remarried and a new father figure steps into the kids' lives. It can be awkward for both you and the new stepfather, but for the sake of the kids, it's important to keep things civil.

When this situation comes up, be sure that you don't change your relationship with your kids. Don't compete with him or try to relax the rules so you look like the 'good guy.' Your kids will love you no matter what, so play it cool.

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