Divorced Dads: 101 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Kids (Staying Connected)

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9780972009003: Divorced Dads: 101 Ways to Stay Connected with Your Kids (Staying Connected)

Divorced Dads is an easy-to-use guide with tools divorced fathers need to stay bonded and connected with their kids, now and in the years to come. Readers can learn how to develop deeper emotional relationships, reduce stressful confrontations and build a team approach to parenting with their ex, create an atmosphere where they can have fun, help their child succeed in school and leave a lasting legacy to enrich their child's life.

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About the Author:

Lee Hefner is the noncustodial father of a teenaged daughter. For almost a decade, Lee has searched for ways, like so many other divorced fathers, to connect more deeply with his child. Lee's candid appraisal and extensive experience of what has worked results from interviews with other divorced parents as well as his own personal story of sorrow, struggle, triumph, and joy. With a background as a consultant in the aerospace field, Lee found himself unprepared for the task of maintaining a long-distance emotional link with his daughter. Only after taking responsibility for achieving the outcome he desired and developing some of the methods and approaches in this book was Lee able to improve the mutual feeling of connection between himself and his child.

Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than two decades of experience in working with children, parents, and families. In addition to her M.Ed. in Counseling and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, she is a National Certified Counselor and a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor. In her many years of service as a former school counselor and school psychologist, Nancy encountered numerous children of divorced parents, seeing firsthand what their needs, fears, and concerns are. Nancy also counsels divorced parents who want to know what they can do to stay closely connected with their children. Nancy has a strong personal interest in divorce parenting issues, as she herself is a divorced mother.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

Like so many others, are you a dad who has let his children slip away after a divorce? And are you now wondering how to get that rapport with your kids back? There are a number of possible solutions that can get you the results you want. The way to your child’s heart has many conceivable paths. You don’t always know which one will work. Be like a persistent ant that is determined to get into a house. First he tires to walk under the front door. If he can’t get through, the ant attempts to enter via a crack by a window frame. If that still doesn’t work, he finally climbs up the chimney and down into the fireplace.

This book covers many different ways to get close to your children. Even if just one works for you, it will be worth far more than the effort it will take you to read these tips. And you will enjoy its fruit for the rest of your life.

Lee’s Story

"Daddy," sobbed my six-year-old daughter Susanna over the telephone, "when are you coming back home?" It wasn’t the first time Susanna had asked me this question since I had left my daughter and her mother months before. And yet it still hurt me to hear Susanna ask it.

How could I tell her that I was not coming back? I asked myself this question again and again. I had not been able to bring myself to tell her the whole truth, in part because I was confused myself. Was I going back or not? Could my wife and I really reconcile our differences? I was not alone in my suffering . Millions of fathers every year agonize over the issues and problems of struggling with a difficult marriage. And many, after going through tremendous emotional turmoil, finally get divorced, just as I did.

Looking back, I can see that I have experienced many of the same emotions and dilemmas other divorcing fathers face. Anger, bitterness, and hostility were just a few of the emotions that my ex-wife and I had to deal with following our breakup. And through it all, it became very easy for me to overlook the needs of my daughter. She needed a dad to be a support for her—emotionally, socially, and financially. What she got was a father distracted by conflict with her mother and by his career.

After almost ten years of being a long-distance father to my daughter, I have learned much from my own experience. I’ve also gained insight from the experiences of others who have worked on maintaining connections with their kids after divorce. And I have found in my own relationship with my daughter a rebirth in communication between us, resulting from my use of the principles contained in this book.

What Can You Do?

If you’re a divorced dad interested in maintaining and improving your relationship with your children, this book was written for you. It is a compilation of principles an techniques that are designed for dads who are frustrated by the difficulty of maintaining good emotional links with their kids. At the same time, the fathers have all the normal feelings of love for their children. One of our goals is to help dads master a hidden treasure of opportunity by giving them the tools they need. And in reaching this goal, we hope to improve the world a little by giving children more of what they truly deserve—a loving father who is there for them when they need him the most.

Kids need their dads just as much after divorce as they did before the divorce. The fact that there is less time to spend with a father after the divorce means that every minute together becomes even more precious. Therefore it is important for you to understand what will help you create and maintain a quality relationship with your children so that you can optimize the time you have.

With this book, we offer the possibility of a renewed and reinvigorated link with your kids. It teaches you how to do four basic things:

1. Define what it is that you really want with and for your children.

2. Lay the groundwork with your ex-spouse and others in your children’s lives so that you can connect better with your kids and give them necessary support.

3. Develop the parenting and communicating skills that will help you bond with your children.

4. Learn a number of methods and techniques to stay well-connected with your kids.

The tips contained in the following chapters will assist you during the times between visitations when your kids are with their mother, in school, or involved in a social activity. The ideas will also enrich the times when your children are visiting you or you are together on an outing.

The actions that you choose to take now in relating to and communicating with your children will affect your relationship for years to come. Even if you are dissatisfied and disheartened about your current relationship with your kids, there is always hope. There are specific things we share in this book that you can do right now to impact the quality of your bond with your kids. By keeping positive and by taking constructive action, you are putting yourself in the best possible place for good things to happen for you and your children.

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