Father’s Day and Mother’s Day often make people contemplate the relationships that they either had, have or did not have with their own parents and the relationships that they do or do not have with their own children. It can be particularly difficult to contemplate these relationships if you did not have positive relationships with your own parent(s) and therefore doubt your ability to have positive relationships with your children.
Thankfully, humans have the ability to make different choices than their parents made. Even if you primarily parent your child though child support as opposed to primary custody and/or a great deal of parenting time, you can have positive relationships with your own child even if your parenting role models were poor ones.
If your children are young, playing with them and taking time to do activities that they will enjoy will help them build solid bonds with you and positive memories of you. That kind of foundation is stronger than you might initially believe it to be. If you live far from your young kids, recording stories and sending them along with letters or drawings can provide excellent ways to connect across the miles.
If you have older children, taking the time to talk and really listen to them can be an excellent starting approach. If your older kids and teens do not seem to want to listen, it is still important to reach out and make the effort. And if you do not tend to see your kids but consistently provide them with needed child support, you are having a positive effect even if it feels a bit disconnected.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Yes, You Can Be a Good Dad (Even if You Didn’t Have One),” Marie Hartwell-Walker, June 9, 2014