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How to support paternal involvement in kids’ lives

After a divorce or breakup, the noncustodial parent often experiences a decline in quality time spent with their child. It can be unintentional as the collateral damage that results from relationships going bust. Sometimes, it can be intentional, suchas when the custodial parent intentionally attempts to alienate the child from their other parent.

But what happens when the noncustodial parent – who is overwhelmingly likely to be the child’s father, even today – receives support from the community, the extended family and the custodial parent? As it turns out, there can be far better outcomes.

Support buffers parents and reduces strain

Single parenthood can be hard. When a parent is trying to juggle full-time employment and child-rearing, it can be stressful. But strong support networks that include community members, extended family members and both co-parents working in tandem can ease the burdens parents face.

If your own dad was always too busy balancing budgets to toss the ball with you or teach you how to change a tire or tie a tie, you might not instinctively know how to interact meaningfully with your own children. Even if your father’s role in your life was marginal at best, finding a good parental role model can help you develop the skills and good parenting instincts to bond you closer to your kids.

Choosing to co-parent civilly

Accepting that your child’s parent or your spouse was a lousy partner does not mean that person is a bad or neglectful parent. If you felt wronged in the relationship, this can be challenging to overcome. Nonetheless, it is better for your child to set aside those differences to co-parent effectively.