How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. This month, learn about a Divorced Dad’s transition on sharing his custody time and his son’s winter sports activities with his ex-spouse and her new boyfriend. Read more.
How To Be a Better Dad: Co-Parenting and Winter Sports Activity
How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting
section on SingleDad. This month, learn about a Divorced Dad’s transition on
sharing his custody time and his son’s winter sports activities with his
ex-spouse and her new boyfriend. Read more.
Hockey and Divorce
My name is Alex and I am a 43- year old, Divorced Dad living
in Colorado Springs. I have been divorced just over two years and have two
children, ages 8 – Daughter and 12- Son. My ex-spouse and I have gotten along
well until recently. This past
summer, my ex-spouse has chosen to live with her boyfriend and has moved about
5 miles further away from my household. The problem is not about the move; it’s
My 12-year old son plays in a junior hockey league and this
fall, my ex-spouse signed him up in a different league than the one he has been
with over the years near my home. I talked to my son about this and he feels
too conflicted about the whole situation and doesn’t want to raise a fuss about
the change in venue. I know that my son did not ask for this divorce and he is
in a tough spot between his parents. I am having a tough time "sharing" my son
with another man and having joint custody only makes things awkward between all
of us when it comes to the games.
Do you have any fatherhood advice for me when it comes to
Co-Parenting my son with my ex-spouse? This is the first year I had to deal
with this and it comes at a tough time of the year when I am alone,
co-parenting with my ex-spouse, who now has a full-time boyfriend around my
I feel your pain brother. One of the first painful steps
during divorce transition is watching your ex-spouse with a boyfriend. Even
more disheartening is seeing the new man around your children and being a
family during her custody. I can tell you a few times that happened to me and
how sad and upset I felt watching my kids spend "family time" with another
Dad. As far as your general topic,
let’s break down your situation and talk it through….
First of all, you were on borrowed time my friend when it
came to sports activities. These days, divorced couples like to move away and
create their own "space" where they can create a new environment and groups of
new friends. Five miles is not that bad. As far as the hockey league, I am
going to give your ex-spouse the benefit of the doubt and say that she might
have told you of her plans, or that the deadline for team sign-ups was looming
and you had probably forgotten. Either way, roll with the punches and don’t
make this "Your Stand". Your son loves you and he loves hockey, so show him
your support and downplay your disappointment with the new league. Tell your
little guy the benefits of having a new team; new friends, new uniforms and maybe
the opportunity to play a new position. The bottom line is that change is
constant in life and let him know that you are proud of him being resilient to
the change he is going through.
Finally, you may need to get past some un-resolved issues
with your ex-spouse. Now, I’m no doctor, but I have spent plenty of time on the
couch with my Family Counselor and I can tell you that it was normal for me to
still have feelings for my ex-spouse when I saw her with her boyfriend. Seeing
her with another man was no picnic; but I had to understand those feelings and
remember where I needed to focus on my life and move forward as a Single
How To Be a Better Dad
In summary, you need to find the time to email your
ex-spouse and talk openly about having a respectful relationship when it comes
to having a healthy Co-Parenting relationship. Nobody wants to miss a hockey
game and nobody has to as long as you both agree to a code of conduct at these
events. Just because it is joint custody doesn’t mean you have to avoid your
children events on your "off days". Make sure you give each other "space" when
it comes to sharing your children’s events. Now that there is a boyfriend in
the picture, you will have to focus more on your behavior and allow yourself
the opportunity to get to know him. I’m not saying take the guy out for beers,
just be cordial to him because it sends a positive message to your two kids.
After a few hockey games, you will get into a routine and I am sure things will
change for the better.
Holidays are coming, and this is just the beginning on
Co-Parenting with your ex-spouse. As always, keep me posted on your results.
Got Kids? Need Fatherhood
or Single Parent Advice?
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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”