We've all heard the mantra from many a man on social media: "baby mama drama" and men complaining that the women they've impregnated not "letting them" be a part of their children's lives.
It goes without saying that this behavior is not only detrimental to a co-parenting relationship, but it's also detrimental to a child's psyche.
But these children are not outliers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of children living with a single parent has been steadily rising for decades. Today, nearly a quarter of all children in the country live with just one of their parents, which is more than three times more than other children around the world.
“More than any other project or cause that society needs to work on, we must work with passion and urgency to eliminate the systemic barriers to single-father involvement in the lives of our children,” explains Dr. Joel N. Myers, founder of Dads’ Resource Center. “We must take the time to educate everyone about the overwhelming evidence - backed up by thousands of years of anecdotal evidence and numerous studies over recent decades - that shows children develop much better when both of their parents are actively involved in their lives.”
Dr. Myers says that there are four specific things that single dads can do to play a bigger role in the lives of their children. And believe it or not, guys, it's not as difficult as you think.
Make Your Children Your Primary Focus
Whatever complications or challenges may exist, the safety, health, happiness, and well-being of their children should be any parent’s primary concern. This should be displayed not only in words but consistently through actions.
Learn How To Co-parent...Respectfully
Separated parents should always communicate with one another in a polite and courteous manner at all times. They should make every effort to accommodate reasonable adaptations to parenting plans, never knowingly portray the other parent in a negative light and do their best to support the relationship between their ex and their children.
Ensure The Basic Needs Of Your Children
Every parent’s number one priority is guaranteeing the safety and welfare of their children. This means making sure that their financial, medical, educational, and developmental needs are always being met.
Commit to Being The Best Father Possible
All parents should continuously work to spend quality time interacting with their children. They should role model and be a positive influence for their sons and daughters. They should mentor and teach them and strive to be the best person possible in order to model for them.
The Dads’ Resource Center believes that any parent that fulfills these core responsibilities deserves equal standing in all decisions regarding the rights and custody of their children and that any standards of consideration regarding the rights and custody of children should be applied equally to both parents.
“Parenting is a two-person job,” said Jeff Steiner, executive director of the Dads’ Resource Center. “Mothers and fathers give different, but equally important things to their sons and daughters, who have the best chance at success in life when both parents are actively involved in their upbringing. It is a grave disservice to children when a parent is unnecessarily kept out of their lives.”