Whether you’re married, a single dad or remarried, your relationship with the mother of your children is important to your children. You may no longer be in a traditional loving relationship with that person, but you can do what you can to communicate respect, appreciation, cooperation and support. Research on young children and adolescents consistently shows that relationships between fathers and children are more sensitive to parents’ marital quality than are relationships between mothers and children.
Research shows that in the presence of serious marital conflict, fathers tend to withdraw from their children and from co-parenting, whereas mothers do not show the same level of withdrawal (Cummings & O’Reilly, 1997; Doherty et al., 1998). When nonresidential fathers exercise nurturing and authoritative parenting and cooperate with the mother, child well-being is positively affected (Amato & Gilbreth, 1999).
Amato, P.R., & Gilbreth, J.G. (1999) Nonresident fathers and children’s well-being: A meta-analysis. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 557-573. Cummings, E.M., & O’Reilly, A.W. (1997) Fathers in family context: Effects of marital quality on child adjustment. In M.E. Lamb (Ed.) The role of the father in child development (pp.49-65). New York: Wiley.
Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary (PDF File)
This article, written by Jennifer Call, originally appeared in the January 2002 edition of Marriage & Families, a peer reviewed magazine produced by the family studies department at Brigham Young University.
12 Tips for Live-Away Dads
Whether through divorce, deployment or frequent travel, some dads live away from their children for long periods. Despite what we may think (or others may tell us) living away does not prevent a vibrant, loving and lasting relationship. Here are some ideas for how to keep the connection strong from Joe Kelly, the Dad Man.
20 Long Distance Activities for Dads at a Distance
The National Long Distance Relationship Building Institute
Dads and Divorce
Connect with Kids: Weekly News Stories
Divorced Dads: Maintain Your Poise
Resources from the National Center for Fathering
Five Goals for Live-Away Dads
National Center for Fathering
The Divorcing Father’s Manual: 8 Steps to Help You and Your Children Survive and Thrive is a self-help book that teaches both custodial and non-custodial fathers to cope successfully with their divorce in a way that is healthy for their children. This book guides a father through all steps of the emotional healing process while enabling him to maximize his role as a productive, involved dad.
Single Parents Town
The Single Parents Town website was created by Bill McLeod, a full-time single dad of two children, for three reasons:
- To support single parents across the country as they face the challenges, fears and joys of single parenthood.
- To inspire and motivate parents to be an excellent role model for their children.
- To provide a source of services, advice, and resources to help organize and balance their life.
Virtual Visitation for Today's Mobile Fathers
Tips from the National Center for Fathering
United Through Reading
Tips for dads to use to read with their children from a distance.