Dad-proof tips: Sharing the time with your child as a single or separated dad

man assisting baby to walk on beach

This month, we’re focussing on single and separated dads. It can be a difficult journey for many families, so stay tuned to receive tips and advice on how to best support yourself and your children.

This week, we’re talking about one of the more difficult aspects of separation – working with your former partner to coordinate shared care of children.

As well as advanced notice, parents need to give children the feeling that they are in control and know what is happening. 

Top tips for sharing time with your children 

  • Plan ahead to keep organised. Keep a diary or calendar of dates and times with your children. Keep your former partner up to date with any changes with arrangements.  
  • Help children anticipate change. Remind kids they’ll be leaving for the other parent’s house a day or two before the visit. Pack in advance but always keep certain basics (toothbrush, pyjamas) at both houses in the event of sudden change.  
  • Stick to routines (mealtimes, bedtimes etc). If they know exactly what to expect, when they return to you it can help the transition. 
  • Keep track of your child’s schedule. Ensure you know what they have been up to whilst they weren’t in your care, and talk to them about it. Get up to date with the kind of day or week they had to maintain the closeness or level of detail potentially lost by living separately.
  • Be active and involved in your child’s school/community. Take up opportunities to engage with your child’s school activities by attending school events and meeting with your child’s teachers to keep open lines of communication. 

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