How To Be a Better Dad: Easy Way to Screw Up Your Kid

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How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. This month, learn about a fathers challenge to co-parent his child with an obsessive ex-spouse. Learn how not to screw up your kid. Read more…

How To Be a Better Dad:
Easy Way to Screw Up Your Kid

How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting
section on SingleDad. This month, learn about a fathers challenge to co-parent
his child with an obsessive ex-spouse. Learn how not to screw up your kid. Read
more…

Easy Way to Screw Up
Your Kid

Dear SingleDad,

My name is Jason from Phoenix Arizona and I am a 39-year old
Divorced Dad with a 11- year old daughter and 13-year old son. I have been
divorced for two years now and I have joint custody with my ex-spouse who lives
about 5 miles away in my old home.

My situation is this: My ex-spouse is obsessed with our
children’s school performance and I believe that she puts unnecessary pressure
on them about grades and future college plans. She is a graduate from an Ivy
League school where I received my undergraduate here in Arizona (ASU). Lately,
I have been noticing my daughter verbally stressing out to me to a point where
I feel like she is having an anxiety attack in front of me. When I try to talk
to her about this, she simply states that her mother is demanding better grades
from her. This is an 11-year old child. Am I wrong for feeling worried and what
advice can you offer me to help me through my Co-parenting communication with
my ex-spouse?

Dazed and Confused.

frustrated kid

Dear Jason,

Now I am not an expert in the field of Child Psychology,
however, I am a Divorced Dad who has gone through several years of Co-Parenting
three children with an ex-spouse. Your fears are real and they need to be
addressed in the proper forum with your ex-spouse. First, it is important to
distinguish her genuine attempts on communicating her desire in the proper way.
Many times, parents don’t see their own failures of communication; especially
when it comes to children. Even a
"raised eyebrow" can set off the wrong message to your child when it comes to
this subject. We often forget that they process differently and need a more
detailed explanation of the "Who, Why’s and How’s" of the proposed academic
goal.

Believe it or not, Children of High -achieving parents often
suffer greater anxiety because they fear of letting their parents down or
disappointed. What ends up happening is that these children put so much
pressure on themselves that they associate their parent with the other people
in their environment that criticizes them; the teacher, peers at school,
coaches, etc.

Don’t Screw Up Your
Kid

The best advice I can give you is to approach your ex-spouse
to attend some family counseling together. You both need to help each other
figure out new ways to communicate to your children. Since I do not know "both
sides" to your story; I am going suggest that the two of you get to see a
licensed, family counselor who has experience working with divorced parents.
Just go online and search for the nearest family counselor, or go to your
children’s school and ask an administrator if they can recommend a good
counselor in your area.

There may be a variety of reasons for your ex-spouses
behavior; may be you are too laid back and she is over-compensating for your
perceived indifference? Anyways, I could take several jabs at this toic and I
think the best advice I can recommend is to get a counselor involved.
Sometimes, having a neutral "third party" tell your ex to
relax and call her out is worth its weight in gold…

Dad worry

Got Kids? Need Fatherhood or Single
Parent Advice?

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Richard JaramilloRichard “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!”