The summer season can be an emotionally difficult time of year for newly divorced dads who don’t have full child custody and live far away from their kids. Custody arrangements often change for the summer months when the kids are out of school, and Father’s Day in particular can be challenging. Here are some ideas for what you can do as a single father to help stay connected with your children over the summer.
When You Can’t Visit the Kids on Father’s Day
There are many reasons you may be unable to see your kids on Father’s Day. You might live too far away for a visit; your parenting agreement may not have accounted for Father’s Day; or travel might just be too stressful for young ones. Whatever the reason, it can be tough to weather a Father’s Day alone for the first time. Here are some ideas to help you get through it and stay connected to the kids, even when you’re far away:
- Arrange a phone call or a video call. Set up a pre-determined time to make a video call over the internet with the kids using Skype, Facetime, Google, or other type of software. Many parents choose this method of communication as a regular form of long-distance visitation throughout the entire year, not just on special occasions. With a little planning, you can arrange an activity you can all enjoy such as reading a favorite storybook together. Keeping your interaction positive, even if you’re feeling sad or upset about the divorce, can make the communication more enjoyable for everyone.
- Surprise them with a postcard or a letter. If you’re not under contact restrictions, you can write a short letter to remind the kids that you’re thinking about them. A simple postcard will thrill many children and become a cherished keepsake, especially in today’s age, when receiving a real piece of personal mail is becoming a rarity.
- Make a plan. If you can’t be in contact with the kids on Father’s Day, you may feel down or out of sorts. To help with any negative emotions, make a plan to do something for yourself on Father’s Day. Work on a hobby you may have been neglecting, or try something new you’ve always been interested in. If you like to cook, plan a menu of your favorites and spend the day in the kitchen.
- Reach out to someone important in your life. If your own father or another important male figure is a part of your life, consider reaching out to him for support, or simply let him know that you care with a phone call, a card, or a visit.
If you’re really having a hard time, consider not spending the day alone. Get out of the house and go for a walk, see a movie, or invite your friends in to visit. Time spent with the people in your life who care about you can help take your mind off the divorce and make the day go by more easily.
Get Help With Your Divorce
It’s common to feel emotional after a divorce, especially on Father’s Day. Going through a major life change can make it difficult to move forward in your new life.
If you have legal questions about your parenting agreement, alimony, or any other aspect of your divorce, the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny is here to help you. Call us by phone, or use the contact form to arrange a consultation with a family law attorney in our Bellevue office.