The holidays are special times for most families. But there are families who are separated for one reason or another. One of the biggest problems for separated fathers is feeling a loss of connection with their children. Here are some ideas for maintaining your connection when you can’t be with them for the holidays.
- Phone your child to say good night. Be sure to get their wish list.
- Write your child a little letter and tell her what you did that day. Fathers with older children may be able to keep in touch by e-mail. Send your child a Christmas card every day for 12 days.
- Attend holiday school performances. Get involved with your child’s school. Get to know his teachers and the principal. Attend school functions.
- Make an audiotape of yourself reading her favourite Christmas or holiday story.
- Collect interesting items for your children when you are apart from them. You can say, “I was thinking about you when I saw this.” Younger children might enjoy a pretty rock or wildflower. For older children it might be a funny comic cut out of the newspaper.
- If possible, move to a home in your child’s neighbourhood. This will be more convenient for you and it will be especially helpful when your children are older and their friends and activities become very important to them.
- Offer to give your ex-partner some free time by taking your child Christmas shopping.
Making every effort to be available to your child will create memories that last for all of you.
Download a booklet for separated and divorced dads here.