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new years resolutions for divorced dadsAt the beginning of every year, many people make resolutions related to parts of their lives that they hope to change in the coming months. While many resolutions fall by the wayside after a few weeks, the new year can be a great opportunity for dads who recently went through a divorce to work on the healing process and continue to adjust to the ways their lives have changed. Single dads may want to consider making some or all of the following resolutions as they continue to build a new life for themselves:

  1. Work on being a good co-parent - Even if the wounds of your divorce are still fresh, you’ll most likely need to maintain contact with your ex-spouse and work together to make sure you are both meeting your children’s needs. While you may not exactly be friendly with your ex, you can still work on communicating with each other and ensuring that you are both informed about what’s going on in your kids’ lives. You can also find ways to be flexible when necessary and adjust to changing schedules that affect when and where you pick up or drop off your kids or participate in their activities.

  2. Focus on putting your children first - It’s understandable to be stressed out as you adjust to being a single parent, but one of the most important things you can do is be present in your kids’ lives as much as possible. While you can’t control what happens when they aren’t with you, you can make a commitment to focus on them during your parenting time. By talking to your kids, playing with them, enjoying activities together, helping with their homework, and giving them your full attention, you can continue to build a positive relationship that will last a lifetime.

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divorced dad holiday plans during COVID-19The holiday season is upon us, but in 2020, it may look different than it ever has before. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in many families’ plans, and as a divorced dad, it could potentially make the season very difficult for you. You may already be struggling to adjust to the reduced amount of time you are able to spend with your kids after getting divorced, and you’re probably not looking forward to more isolation during a time when you normally spend time with friends and family. Fortunately, by following these tips, you can be prepared for the holidays, protect your family’s safety, and make the most of this time:

  1. Make plans for holiday get-togethers - Many families are choosing to forego their usual plans to meet up for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holidays. If you choose to do so, you can still make arrangements to be together by holding a family Zoom call. If you do plan to meet in person, be sure to follow the CDC’s recommendations for safety, including wearing a mask, keeping a six-foot distance from those who do not live in your home, washing your hands often, bringing your own food and drinks, and using disposable food containers, plates, and utensils.

  2. Find virtual alternatives to holiday traditions - You may usually enjoy holiday activities outside of your home with your kids, but this may not be possible right now, so you’ll want to find ways to participate in these traditions without leaving your home. For example, rather than visiting Santa at the local mall, you could make arrangements to hold a video call with a friend or family member who plays the part.

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parenting tips for divorced dads during COVID-19Whew! This has been one stressful year, right? It’s been tough to stay positive through a pandemic and months of lockdown, especially when your family is beginning to feel some of that tension at home. Some stress and conflict is normal when you’re stuck at home together for such a long period of time. But if things are starting to feel overwhelming for you as a single father, it may be time for a lockdown intervention. If you need a break from stress, boredom or exhaustion, try taking these simple steps:

Start with Your Home

Did you know that your home can be a source of stress for your family? When your house or apartment feels cluttered and closed off, this can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and tension, and of course, this effect is amplified when you and your family are all stuck together every single hour of the day. Thankfully, you can clear these bad feelings out by dedicating some time to decluttering and organizing your home.

Once you’re done with cleaning, open up a few windows so that your family can get some sunshine and fresh air. If things still feel pretty tense, it may also be beneficial to create some spaces around your home where your family members can get some quality alone time. For the adults, this could mean creating a meditation space out in your backyard, especially since meditation can be such a calming practice on its own. If your little ones need an area to relax and recharge, consider adding a calm down or comfort corner.

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divorced dad budgeting tipsGetting a divorce can wreak havoc on your finances. The costs involved in separating your life from your spouse can be significant, especially if you will be moving to a new home, setting up utilities, and purchasing items such as furniture or cooking utensils. When you add in the legal costs involved in the divorce process and any child support or spousal support payments that you will be required to make, you may wonder how you will be able to support yourself on a single income. Fortunately, with the proper financial preparation, you can determine how to live comfortably while meeting your needs and continuing to be a great parent for your children. Creating a workable budget is crucial during this time, and it can give you reassurance that you will be able to maintain financial security both right now and in the future.

Things to Keep in Mind When Creating a Budget

  1. Fully document your income and expenses - Tracking the income you earn and everything you spend money on will help you form a complete picture of your financial situation. Understanding the net income you take home after taxes, health insurance premiums, and support payments that are deducted from your paychecks will let you know how much you have to work with. You can then look at everything you spend money on, including food, utilities, rent or mortgage payments, car insurance, life insurance, gas or transportation, clothing, entertainment, medical expenses such as doctor visits or prescriptions, and expenses related to your children, such as school fees, extracurricular activities, clothing, or toys. Fully understanding all aspects of your finances can help you make sure you will be able to cover your ongoing expenses.

  2. Determine where you can cut back - As you adjust to your new financial situation, you may begin to look at the steps you can take to reduce your expenses. This may include cooking at home more often instead of eating out, utilizing sales and coupons when shopping for food or clothing, or foregoing expensive purchases for the time being.

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Mental health tips for divorced dads“Challenging” doesn’t even begin to describe the past several months for millions of households across the country. If you have recently gone through a divorce, that alone can do a number on your mental health. Add in all of the changes and difficulties brought about by COVID-19, and you might be dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress, anxiety, fear, depression, and other issues. The following tips can help divorced fathers foster their mental health as they navigate the challenges of this difficult time.

Look into Your Options

Obtaining mental health services can make a big difference in difficult times.

  • Read the details of your insurance plan to see whether therapy, counseling, and other services are covered.
  • If you have Medicare, review your policy to see what is covered; for example, Medicare Part B covers a range of mental health services.
  • If you currently have no health insurance, see if any local colleges, clinics, or other institutions are providing free services.

Boost Your Physical Health

The state of your physical health plays a major role in your mental health and overall well-being.

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