Struggling over the case and custody of a shared child is not an enjoyable experience. For those Florida dads who are fortunate enough to have their fathers' rights upheld by the courts, settling into a new parenting routine can be a new type of challenge, although a far less stressful one. The following tips are offered to assist dads as they begin to create new routines for the time they spend with their kids.
First and foremost, every parent must understand that parenting (especially when it comes to older children) is an incredibly schedule-driven process. As kids become involved in sports, extracurricular events and social activities, parents can sometimes begin to feel more like personal assistants than family members. It is important to understand these scheduling demands and to set boundaries that ensure that there is plenty of one-on-one time between the parent and each child.
Having a physical schedule in the house is a great way to accomplish this goal. If kids are old enough, having them write in their own activities gives them a chance to learn valuable skills, while also teaching them to prioritize family time. The courts tend to call time spent with the non-custodial parent "visitation," which is an outdated view on parenting time. The time spent with one's kids is simply part of their lives and should be treated as such.
This means establishing routines and setting boundaries and expectations. Kids thrive under structure and guidance, even when they think otherwise. Winning a fathers' rights victory in Florida is a significant achievement, but there's still work to be done once the dust has settled. Working out a system for one's share of parenting time requires a significant input of time and effort, but the outcome is well worth that investment.
Source: The Huffington Post, "12 Things All Men Should Understand About Divorce", James Cave, March 15, 2016