Build a dad part 2

Build-A-Dad: The Reconstruction

Part 2 in a 2-part series

Ugh….building blocks! As your children grow bigger, the blocks they play with get smaller and seemingly harder. Then it happens! You are walking down the hallway and you step on one of those tiny little blocks. Oh, the pain!! You want to scream! You want to ban blocks from your home FOREVER! Instead, you pick up the tiny little block and put it in its proper spot because you know your child loves playing with them.

Sometimes, dads aren’t in the home anymore. Maybe he never was. There may be pain between the two of you. The temptation is to lash out or to block him out of your life. However, you know you can’t because like the little block in the hallway, your child loves him. Your child wants to know Dad has a place in your lives.

While you cannot control the actions or responses of your child’s father, you can control and influence the situation by your responses. It is important to be a constructive parenting partner rather than destructive. Destructive responses tear down the potential involvement of Dad. Here are five destructive actions to avoid.

B – Blame game. The blame game doesn’t help anyone. Both parents make mistakes. It is important to try to talk through misunderstandings and let downs.

L – Looking for a replacement. As one relationship ends, there is a temptation to close that person out and find someone new. Often we want to try to make a new family with a potential new daddy. This doesn’t help your child. Our kids need to know that relationships don’t have to disappear, and Dad needs to know he can be an active part of his child’s life.

O – Oversharing. In a social media world, we often feel tempted to overshare the drama of our relationships. If we use this outlet to shame our child’s father, it will not bring any good out of the situation. Dad may attack back or shutdown. Aim to talk   one-on-one and be selective when it comes to seeking advice.

C – Criticism. If all dad hears from you is criticism, he will likely want to avoid you. If he wants to avoid you, it may result in not seeing his children. Your children need to see that their mom knows how to respond to conflict in positive ways. Kindness can defuse tension.

K – Kid games. Parenting has no room for childish games. Aim to be a confident mom who doesn’t use her children as a weapon against their father. Dad needs to know he is safe to enjoy his children.

Mom, you have the power to build secure children even in the midst of imperfect situations! Go ahead! Show your children how to pick up the BLOCKS and rebuild!

-Sherry Farley, guest blogger

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