Single Dad Travel Tips

When it comes to being a single dad, it can be tough to enjoy the time that you have with your kids when you know how limited it is. Whether you are an every weekend, every other weekend, or once a month visitor, you want to cherish each moment with your child. But when it starts to get old doing the same activities week after week you will start craving something fun and new to keep both you and your kid entertained:this is the perfect time to schedule a vacation for lots of one-on-one time in a new location. However it might be intimidated planning some time away when you aren’t used to, well, doing everything it requires to get the family ready. Don’t let this deter you! With a few simple trips you can start creating single dad vacations that are just as fun and chock-full of wonderful memories that you can cherish forever.

1) Collaborate with your child

While you might think that hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail with your 12 year old daughter might be an awesome time, she is sitting there putting on her bright pink nail polish, looking at you like you should be committed. Sure, this is your vacation as well, but if you don’t ask your kids what they really want to do, rather than what you think would be fun, you will be in for a world of pain later on. Take the time to sit down with your kid and brainstorm a list of ideas that would be entertaining for all of you. If you have more than one kid it can be tough to make everyone happy, but after chatting for a while, it is possible to reach a happy medium where everyone can get a little of what they want from the next vacation.

2) Pay attention to the details

Okay, let’s admit it. You used to prefer being more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guy, let someone else do the planning and worrying. Variety is the spice of life, right? Who cares if we get a little lost or don’t know where the next restroom is! When you are traveling alone with children, you will soon learn that planning well, don’t to the last little detail, will not only make your life easier, it will make the experience that much more enjoyable. Take a moment to think of what your kids normally ask for or want to do on a trip, and start researching these items well. You will realize that the small things, like giving your kid that Big Gulp he wants from 7-11 will mean that you have to take five potty breaks within the next fifty miles, really do make a difference.

3) Relax, take deep breaths, breathe

There will come a point where your child is tired, cranky, disappointed, or missing mom, and he or she might start to act up. Normally you have no problem handling this but, added to the extra stresses of traveling, it can become overwhelming not having the backup of a second parent to help out. Remember, this is a learning experience for both you and your child, and presents itself as a chance to reaffirm your role as a parent in his or her life, and build stronger bonds in the long run. Rather than telling Bobby or Sally to be quiet, get over it or else there will be no ice cream later, pull over the car and take a few minutes to talk. See what is the root cause of their frustration and discuss their feelings. Oftentimes this is all it takes to really get your kid to calm down; or it is another easily solved problem, like hunger or fatigue. Your child might just need a five minute phone call to mom to get back into a happy frame of mind!

About Divorce and Kids

Divorce can be one of the most difficult components of marriage. In many cases, men and women view divorce as an adult issue that should be discussed and carried on behind closed doors, unaware that divorce is very much a family affair, albeit a painful one. For a child, the difficult transition through a divorce can be challenging, heartbreaking and full of confusion, misinterpretation and feelings of fault and helplessness. As a father it is vital to embrace and soothe your child during this difficult time. Being aware of their feelings, concerns and answering their questions with honesty and love can not only help ease some of their hurt, but can strengthen the bond between a father and his child.

Change is always something that is frightening, especially for children. Children understand that with the oncoming divorce, their lives are going to drastically change, and this new change can be incredibly frightening; their comfort zones have been completely overthrown. Meal times will changes, household schedules will be different, the ability to see dad whenever they want will be altered and contact with other family members may become strained and less frequent. This creates a terrible sense of upheaval for them. Talking with your children about these changes in a frank and caring manner is the best way to address change. Change does not equate a loss of love and while there may be aspects of transformation that need to be modified, be clear and concise that your love for them will always be consistent and unwavering.

Many children fear abandonment during the course of a divorce. They worry that they will lose a parent, or that their dad or mom will find another family they love more. This is a realistic fear and must be dealt with gently. Letting your child know that you love them and will always be there for them, and that distance, and a new environment is nothing to be upset or afraid of. Make sure your child is aware that they will never be discarded or replaced and they are still the most important part of your life.

Of the toughest aspects of dealing with a divorce and children is handling the parental tension between a husband and wife. This tension is easily transferred to children and can create an environment that is unhealthy for everyone involved. Divorce is not easy and amounts of tension are going to be present even in the most civil homes. It is the manner in which this tension is handled and how such strain is relocated that will determine the responsiveness of a child. Attempting to turn a child against their mother can cause adverse reactions and can create an impossible and extremely stressful situation for a child. Likewise, women who attempts to turn children against their father can present a difficult situation. Remind your child that while adults fight and sometimes say hurtful things, your child was created in love and their importance in your life will never change.

Accept the fact that during some point of your divorce, your child will attempt to reunite you with his/her mother. This stems from the belief that the divorce is their fault and all the problems and guilt will be fixed if you come together. The child will attempt to show off exceptional behavior or be perfect, or adversely, act out in a negative manner in an attempt to bring parents together on a unified front. Aggression and defiance can accompany this phase and it is important that you react responsively and understand anger is a normal component of divorce, but, explain to your child the healthy ways to express that anger. Again, communication is key. While men are not known for being expressive talkers, big words and extreme knowledge about feelings is not a requirement. Simply engage your child and be aware that they are hurting. Be aware of extreme modifications in behavior and keep the doors of communication and honesty open. In the end, divorce is never an easy, fun process, but, as a proactive and supportive father, you have the ability to offer love and assurance in all situations.

Single Dad Summer Activities

As a single dad, it may seem like a daunting task to figure out fun activities for you and your children to enjoy in the summertime. Trying to figure out something that everyone will enjoy and doesn’t break the bank can be tricky, even for the most seasoned veterans. There is no shortage of excellent summertime activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family as long as you are willing to be creative and think a little outside the box.

Camping is always a ton of fun in the summertime. Use the opportunity to teach your kids about survival skills and roughing it in the wild. Sleep in a tent instead of a camper or cottage, hunt or fish for your food and teach them how to build a fire with only those materials provided by Mother Nature. Take them on a nature hike through the woods and see how many different animals you can find and identify properly. Whichever person comes in last place gets stuck cleaning the fish or cooking dinner; find a way to make a game out of it. This could be a good time to make sure your kids appreciate entertainment that comes from something other than a computer, cell phone or video game console.

Get out there and exercise with your kids when the weather is nice enough to cooperate. There are countless activities you can do together that are both fun and encourage physical fitness. Go for a long bike ride or strap on the roller blades together. If sports are more your thing, toss the pigskin around, play a game of HORSE in the driveway, or try and teach them how to hit a curveball. You don’t need to be good at the sports you play with your kids; the fact that you are spending quality time together is where the real value comes from.

Nothing feels better in the heat of summer than drenching yourself in a pool, a lake, an ocean or even with a garden hose. If the beach is an option, take it; if not, see if there are any public pools nearby. The kids will get to have a blast swimming and may even get the chance to make a few new friends. If those aren’t options, get an inexpensive sprinkler from the hardware store or have a water balloon fight. Kids love to be silly with their dads; don’t be afraid to be silly back.

For a new and sometimes very interesting day, give the kids’ free reign to plan an entire day for all of you. Support their ideas and suggestions, even if you may not be overly enthused with their suggestions. Perhaps you could give them a budget to work within, and as long as they keep things reasonable, you do anything and everything they recommend. You might be surprised how much fun you have in the process. Even if you weren’t excited about the activities that were planned, you may soon realize that you their excitement is contagious and find yourself having just as much fun as them.

The summertime is a great time to get outside and spend some real quality time with your kids. As a single dad, your schedule may not allow you to spend the amount of time with your kids as you would truly like, so it is important to maximize the time that you do have with them. The summertime fun you and your kids are engaged in may just be some of their fondest childhood memories, so do everything in your power to make them special for both of you.

Preparing For Divorce For Men

Divorce is difficult on everyone involved. It completely disrupts your life and puts you into the troubling position of having to figure out how to manage your current and future finances, the mental stress that accompanies the process and how to manage the relationship with your children. There are no easy ways to get around the difficulties that accompany divorce, but there are some steps you can take to make the event slightly less painful.

Once the possibility of divorce becomes a reality, your first step should always be to retain an attorney. You will likely spend a few thousand dollars to secure a qualified and competent attorney, and even though the cost may seem suffocating, it will likely save you a load of time and money down the road. The attorney will be essential in preparing communication between your and your future ex-spouse and helping to assist you through the necessary steps of the process. If you hire a decent attorney, they will likely have seen every divorce scenario imaginable and with thus be prepared to help you through your case.

Get your finances in order. As much as it may pain you to have any type of discussion with your spouse, it is important that you both provide full disclosure on all matters related to debt, finances and investments. Understand that all joint accounts will be fair game for both parties and will generally be split right down the middle. It makes no difference who has contributed to the savings or the debt, if it is in both names, you both have claim to those obligations. Once you’ve disclosed everything, it is recommended that you begin to establish your own accounts. Credit cards, checking accounts and savings should be opened solely in your name if you hope to have any chance of keeping your money separated once the divorce proceedings have begun.

One often overlooked change that needs to be made is the stipulations of your will. While you certainly hope that this document doesn’t need to come into play for many years, it is important to make sure it is updated during the divorce. It would be an insulting slap in the face if your ex ends up benefiting from your ultimate demise in the distant future. Be sure to update the beneficiaries of your estate and also make sure to assign a more favorable executor of your estate.

When thinking of your children, you will want to establish firm ground rules in regards to custody, visitation and child support. The amount you will need to pay in child support can vary widely depending on the regulations of the state that you live in, but expect that there will be a predetermined amount depending on the number of children. If both parents can agree on a fair amount, it will likely be accepted by the courts, as long as the children are able to maintain their accustomed standard of living. In respect to visitation and custody, make sure you spell out all terms in minute detail. Don’t expect that your ex will be accommodating when you want to spend time with your kids; she may very well use them as a weapon against you in the future if you do not have everything well documented.

Divorce is not something most people are prepared for when entering into a marriage. If the choice is made to leave your spouse, be sure to do your homework and be as prepared as you possibly can be so that this life altering event doesn’t cripple you, both financially and emotionally, for years to come.

How to Tell Your Child That You Met Someone

The two biggest fears for a child when their mother or father has met someone new is the fear of becoming less important in their parents lives, and the fear of the new person replacing their biological parent that is no longer in the home. Children of single parents can become very jealous and protective of their parents when they meet someone new. Especially when the parent who is no longer living in the home may be replaced by this new person. Children will always want their parents to get back together. Divorce can be very hard on a child who was used to having both parents in the home. The key is to always communicate and be honest with a child. When a child feels like they are a part of the decision making in the family, it keeps them from feeling left out. A parent should never tell their child right off that they have met someone because the relationship may not work out. This could become heartbreaking for a child who gets to know the person and likes them. A child needs to be slowly integrated into a relationship at a slow pace, so that they can get to know the other person. When a parent has been dating a person for many months, and they know that this person is someone that they want to spend the rest of their life with, this is when a parent can tell the child about the new person in their life.

The best way to tell a child that they have met someone new is to be honest with them. They should tell them about the person, where they met them, how they met them, and how they feel about that person. The parent should also tell the child everything about the person, so that they can already feel like they know them before they meet them. Let the child know that this new person will never replace their mother or father. A parent should also let the child digest the news about the new person in their life before they set up a meeting. Communicating and talking to a child about how they feel about their parent meeting someone new can help relieve their fears about being replaced. A child should know that they will always come first in the parents life, no matter which new person comes into it. A child who knows where they stand in the parents life, is a well developed child. If a parent goes on a date with this new person, they should talk to their child after the date, and let them know how the date went. Include them in the fun stories about the date, so that the child does not feel that the parent is hiding their life from them.

Some parents may feel that the need to have a child’s blessing so much is like giving them the upper hand in the parent and child relationship, but if they become insensitive to a child’s feelings, this could cause a child to feel as if they do not have the right to feel. This could cause the child to feel suppressed. There should be an equal balance in telling the child about a new person in their life, yet not allowing their child to dictate who the parent can or can not see. A parent should never break up with a person because their child does not want their parent to date other people. The child will then feel as they have the upper hand. A child could also believe that they can act up, and it will change the parents mind about dating anyone else. Communication and an equal balance of love and understanding is all a child really needs to get used to the idea of their parent dating someone new.