Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tips for Father's Day has eight tips for a better Father's Day. Here are two that stand out for me:

1. Recognize this may be an especially tough holiday for dad.
While the studies show men have a higher income level than women after divorce, men do worse emotionally than women after a divorce. Divorced men are three times more likely to commit suicide than married men. The National Fatherhood Initiative reports that divorced men also have substantially more problems with alcohol than similarly aged married men. Canada’s National Population Health Survey found divorced men were at higher risk for depression than divorced women. Research has suggested that loss of custody or a change in parenting responsibilities is one of the most stressful aspects of post-divorce life for men.

7. Practice forgiveness.
If the wife left for the boyfriend and she’s got the kids, plus alimony and child support, men can feel like they’re stuck paying the price for someone else’s bad decisions. “Many dads are a bomb ready to go off. They’re full of anger, bitterness, and rage. That won’t do any one any good,” said Dr. Canfield. “Regardless of what happened, they have to resolve the personal emotional issues related to distance or difficulty of divorce for the sake of their relationships with their children. They can start by thinking of her as their children’s mother, rather than the ‘ex.’ If they fail to do this, they lock up their kids and keep them in a protected state where they can’t experience forgiveness for something they had no part in.” Journal. See a therapist. Find a place where you can tell it like it is and process the fury.

Meanwhile, maintain a consistent relationship with your child and don’t get pulled into dissing their mother no matter what she’s done. “When you do that, you put the child in cycle of despair because you’re constantly saying what a lousy mom she was. For a child to become healed and whole, they need someone who’s walked through valley of the shadow of death and not been overcome by fear of losing the relationship with the child over something you have done. Put the negative stuff beyond reach. There will always be a time when the child will come to you and say what really happened between you and mom. They will seek you out but you shouldn’t push that or prompt that,” said Dr. Canfield.


Livvy said...

The Indiana Parenting Guidelines...thank God we have them even if outdated in part. It gives both parents a tool to stay focused on the real issue and that is the welfare of the child! After all we are all suppose to be grownups and upon conception took on the most precious priceless responsibility in that of God's gift of a child!!!
Consider how priceless the blessing!!

Sam Hasler said...

I wholeheartedly agree. The problem arise when one or both of the parents want revenge for past errors, misdeeds, wrongs. Oddly, I find the parent most likely to be the instigator is also the most likely to be annoyed at the attorney fees they have incurred. Yes, that is a symptom of larger personality problems.