The new song "Daddy Phone," by country artist Marty Raybon, portrays a divorced dad who only gets to see his son occasionally. To stay connected, the dad gives his son a cell phone and tells him, "When you're missing me, or feeling all alone, just push '1' on your daddy phone. I'll be on the line when I hear that ringtone. We'll talk anytime on your daddy phone."
The holidays are here. You love your kids, and you want to be with those little rascals. You want to share all the wonderful experiences that the holidays promise, but you're divorced—or you are getting a divorce—and you don't want to share them with your ex. What to do?
In today's society, we are increasingly mobile. According to an article in this year's New York Times, 3.6 million married Americans were living apart from their spouses and families due to their job, commuting and living in a different city just for work. And the Children's Rights Council reports that, in 2003, 34 million children had a divorced or separated parent living in a different city. Also, about 66 percent of grandparents have at least one grandchild who lives farther than a day's drive away (according to AARP).
Regardless of how little time you actually get to spend with your child, you're still his father. You may not be a father in the way you want to be, but yours is as real a father-child relationship as any. This is the one and only way that you can have a relationship with this child at this point.
A peaceful divorce? Possibly. A pain-free divorce? That’s exceedingly rare. The adjustments for dad, mom and kids are major.
One summer, pitcher Terry Mulholland was selected as the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game. Mulholland planned to reject the invitation and pass up a chance to pitch in the summer classic. Why? Because Terry is also a father. He's a long-distance dad who saw the three-day break as a chance to catch up with his young son, Tyler. They'd planned a father-son fishing trip, and Terry was determined to keep his word. As it turned out, Mulholland's manager gave him another day off, so he was able to pitch in the game and then fly to Arizona to take Tyler fishing.
A letter from a dad named Monty has touched on a rather challenging dilemma for the National Center for Fathering: how can we talk and write about healthy fathering when so many dads out there rarely even have the opportunity to be an effective father?
Do you want some expert fathering advice? Let’s turn to the real experts out there—the dads in the trenches.
Several years ago in Louisiana, there was an ongoing policy debate about the "Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of Louisiana," which proposed prosecuting and imprisoning parents—usually dads—who are behind in their child support payments. Opponents of the bill asserted that, in many ways, it would only make things worse for those dads by further hindering their ability to earn an income and separating them from their children. They also pointed out that it would be an extra burden on the state.
Getting tired of hearing about how all single dads are angry? If you're like me, you don't even read the "deadbeat dad" articles anymore—it's enough to make you mad!