Many children experience the stress of a divorce. Divorcestatistics.org reports that 40 percent of U.S. couples that have children file for divorce. According to the Mayo Clinic, it's normal for children to have questions and experience anxiety and panic during this time.
When a man finds himself in a divorce, his relationship with his children might suffer if he is living apart from his kids or spending limited time with them. However, a divorce does not mean that fathers can't spend quality time with their kids.
These three activities will help dads establish bonding time while helping children cope with divorce.
Game night is a great way for dads to bond with kids. Children can pick out board games that they enjoy playing after dinner and gather around the table. For younger kids, Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders are great options.
For older kids, dads may want to try games like Scrabble or Checkers. Active kids might prefer games outdoors, like basketball, football or tennis. Playing games will serve as a temporary distraction from hurt feelings as a result of the divorce and will allow kids and dads to bond over laughter and competitiveness in a non-threatening environment.
A nice walk around the neighborhood is an activity that dads and children can both enjoy. If the kids are not up for walking, try a bicycle ride to the park. Keeping kids active and engaged will be a practical way to keep their minds away from the divorce and allow possibilities of bonding while pushing kids on the swing, racing around the park or throwing a football around in the park.
For the adventure-seeking child, boating is a fun way to take to the open water and learn about how to steer and maneuver the watercraft. Before heading out for a boating activity, fathers should cover their bases and apply and receive their state-specific boating license. Boating allows a variety of activities that will help soothe the tension of a divorce. Kids can water ski, fish or tube in the water. The open water and fresh air is an instant way for dads and children to lose themselves in the moment and it helps to reassure kids that they can still have a good time, despite any challenges they may face at home.
Cooking together is fun distraction to ease any tension from the divorce. You can encourage children to take a hands-on approach and ask them to help peel vegetables, chop onions or knead dough. You can make it fun by playing their favorite music in the background and keep the mood light by having conversations that your kids enjoy. When fathers sit together with their children at the dinner table they can bond over a home cooked meal that they worked on together.
Divorce is a tough time for children and their dads. However, it doesn't mean that dads can't spend quality time with their children. By participating in activities that children enjoy, dads can help distract and reestablish a bond with their kids.