When you and your child’s other parent opted to divorce, you likely feared that your child would suffer as a result of your mutual decision. Perhaps you questioned your capacity as a single parent and even questioned whether you could be a good parent under your new circumstances. Hopefully, you have learned with time that there is no one way to be a good parent to your child. And if you have yet to learn that invaluable lesson, hopefully you will learn it soon.
Children need their parents, plain and simple. However, not all divorced parents can be there for their children in the same ways. Some can share their time, others primarily care for their children by paying child support. As long as you are invested in your child’s best interests and do your best to contribute to those interests, you can feel proud of your efforts.
Just as no child is the same as any other child, no parent is the same as any other parent either. When parents divorce, they gain a unique opportunity to evaluate their parenting styles, priorities and values. Whether your child lives under your roof every night of the year or you primarily communicate with your child through calls and emails, you can be a good parent to that child simply by being invested, loving and present in whatever way is possible under your unique circumstances.
If your circumstances change and you need to change your custody, support or parenting plan arrangements in order to best serve your child’s needs, please seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. But if and until that time arises, focus on being the best parent you can be and you will have no reason for parenting-related regret moving forward.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Note to Divorced Dads: You Didn’t Divorce Your Kids,” Joel Schwartzberg, Aug. 12, 2014