How To Be a Better Dad: How To Maximize Your Kid Time

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Fatherhood advice on SingleDad. One of our members asks about making the most of his custody time. Learn how to maximize your time with your children and make every moment count. How to be a better Dad on SingleDad.com

How To Be a Better Dad: How
To Maximize Your Kid Time

Fatherhood advice for the single parent on SingleDad. This
month, one of our members asks about making the most of his custody time. Learn
how to maximize your time with your children and make every moment count with
our parenting advice. How to be a better Dad on SingleDad.com

Dear
SingleDad,

My name is Alex and I am a 42-year old Divorced Dad with two
children, ages 8 (G) and 10 (b). This is my first year as a divorced dad and I
am just getting adjusted with my custody schedule. My ex-spouse lives about 10
miles away and has been pretty good so far on communicating our children’s
activities. This year, I want to have our oldest child participate in spring
baseball. I have agreed to allow my son sign up in the league near his mother’s
house instead of mine. This was a concession to my ex-spouse so I can
participate as an assistant coach for his team.

baseball

As practices have already started, I am discovering that my
focus is getting away from my 8 year-old and I want to do everything for both
of them. My daughter has already made a comment that she doesn’t get to spend
time with me as much and that all my attention is being given to my 10-year
old. I am starting to feel guilt about this and I don’t know what to do or how
to communicate to my daughter. Can you offer some advice on how I can maximize
my time with both of my children?

How to Maximize Your Time with your Children

Dear Alex,

There are many ways to look at your situation. First off,
don’t let guilt motivate you into making the wrong decisions. This is the first
year of your post-divorce, so you are going to run into a few "episodes" of
family time imbalance. Secondly, your best asset is the support of your
ex-spouse and others around you. If you haven’t established family-friends in
your neighborhood, now is the time to start seeing if there are other families
with children the same age as your kids. Finding a "good fit" of other children
who match ages with your kids allows you the flexibility of having your
daughter make a new friend and a "play date" when you need to focus some time
on your son.

In addition, your ex-spouse can play a huge role on the times
you need to be away with your son. Share the practice and game schedules with
your ex-spouse and enroll her to help you with your daughter on times you can’t
be with her.

father daughter

In summary, your heart is in the right place Alex. Do your
best to take a fair and balanced approach with your children during your custody
schedule. Ask your daughter if she has an activity or sport that she would like
to join this spring. Sometimes, just including her to the party is just what
she needs right now.

Your first year as a divorced dad has many twists and turns
in your family dynamic. As a Dad, we also need to develop a greater sense of
"listening" to our children when they have these episodes of anxiety. Listening
is a very important quality and most dads don’t do enough because we tend to
"rescue and fix" the situation. The best advice sometimes is just to sit and
listen to your child who is sharing their feelings.

little league


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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
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