My kids have called me, from their Dad’s house, wanting to come home. My kids have forgotten shoes or favorite toys at one house or the other. I have prayed that the lost teeth happen at my house cause he won’t do the tooth fairy right. I carefully orchestrate, from afar, their weekend activities with gentle suggestions via a stubborn 6-year-old. It’s not easy and while I do have choice words, I keep to myself, at times about his style of parenting, they absolutely need their time with Dad.
And frankly, I need their Dad-time too.
Here Are 5 Reasons You Need To Encourage Your Kids To Visit Dad
1. You need YOU time:
In my case, I went from man-on-man defense to being completely outnumbered and that was a hard adjustment. I had to stop my beloved evening Zumba classes, get an army of babysitters willing to come at odd hours, and just say no to things I really wanted to do– and forget anything spontaneous. But now, their regular evenings and weekends with their Dad give me time to be me. I can take a class, go on a date, hang with my girlfriends, or just unwind from the pressure of single-parenting.
The best thing you can do for them is to take care of you!
2. Dads offer something that Moms don’t:
He gets on the floor and wrestles with them. He offers advice I can’t. He is a way better cook that I am. He speaks another language. He enjoys superhero movies. He takes them to the beach in his vintage car. He is a boy and they are too. Also, he is not me and they spend 80% of their lives with me; they know how I will react, the advice I’ll give, and the boundaries I’ll set. The more grownups kids have in their lives offering diverse perspectives, loving them, supporting them, and rooting for them, the better.
3. They did not choose your divorce:
Your kids likely did not wake up one day and say “wow I wish Dad would move out,” They had no say in the matter and their world has been turned upside down. Keeping as much normalcy and sticking to a new routine will greatly help them through this time. Kids crave structure and knowing what comes next. As their parent, you have to take the high road and provide this for them.
4. He’s the only other person who loves them like you do:
Last evening, I listened to my kids on the phone with their Dad. I heard him laugh at something silly the little one said and thought “wow, there’s only one other person on this planet who gets these little guys like I do,” He is the only other person who loves them as deeply as I love them, and that’s a thing we will have in common forever. If the tables were turned, and he had primary custody, I would need him to make sure I had all of my allotted time with them too, for that reason.
5. You loved him; you know the awesome qualities he has:
This is the hardest one for me; remembering past the most recent, painful stuff, to the qualities that I fell in love with about him. These are the qualities that our kids love in him too, and believe me I have to dig real deep here, but it’s my job, especially now, while they’re little, to validate those feelings for them. Yes, he’s spontaneous and fun. Yes, his bear hugs rock. Yes, little one, you have his impossibly long eyelashes. You chose him to be their father, and unless he is immediately dangerous to them, you need to help them see the positive qualities he brings to their lives.