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Over 200 top tips and words of advice, to help you really get the most from the time you spend with your kids
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Searched for: 10/21/2021 - Found: 7/30/2008 to 8/5/2008
Cautionary Tales For Children
Wonderful witty poems great for reading to your children. The stories and rhymes will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Research has shown how important YOU are to your children and how as a dad the things you do, and keep on doing, really count, whether you live with them, or you are a single dad and are only able see them once a month, once a week or more, what you do really matters. This site is dedicated to all dads but will be of special relevance to the single dad. Remember, you are half the reason your children exist and they need you whether you live with them or not. As their dad, you have what it takes to make their lives successful and fulfilling no matter how often you see them. This site is about all the positive things that we as parents have to offer our children.
Microblog Microblog

Don't say goodbye...

By Chris Barnardo

Although Elton John tells us that sorry seems to be the hardest word, my vote goes with goodbye. There are times when you would be forgiven for thinking that being a single dad is all about saying goodbye. As a single dad, you become the World’s Expert at saying that heartbreaking word. Saying goodbye to the life you knew, saying good bye to your home, most of your stuff and at least half your friends, but worst of all saying good bye to your kids; over and over and over again, every time you see them.
. . . At the end of every visit comes the inevitable mad hour when everyone seems to be on edge, waiting for the time when you have to say goodbye again. Silly arguments seem to start out of nowhere, tears flow at the slightest provocation and you feel angry; everyone acting out their distress in a different way. That mad hour has the power to sour even the sweetest weekend.
. . . Then suddenly, they’re not there anymore, the house is empty; you miss them dreadfully and irrespective of how the weekend has gone, you feel bad. If you’ve had a great time together, you feel dreadful when the silence of your home rings like a bell, and if you’ve had a tough time together, where nothing went as planned, then you feel just as bad that things didn’t go better.
. . . So how do you deal with the inevitable and repeated separations that are a consequence of being a single dad? Well the French have a perfect way of coping with their feelings of separation, they don’t say au revoir to people they love, they say, a bientôt, which literally translates as “in a moment”. This is a great start, but below there are ten practical tips on how to positively cope with saying goodbye:

  1. Keep clam in the last mad hour
    When tensions run high in the time just before your children go, don’t add to their anxiety by letting your anger and frustration show. Be clam, normalise the situation, see through their behaviour to how they are feeling and comfort them rather than getting cross with them when they dawdle or cry at the littlest thing. Remind them of some of the nice things that you have done together, or talk about the lovely time you are going to have next time you’re together that they can look forward to.

  2. Remember that it is a great life skill to be able to deal with separation
    Look at these goodbyes as an opportunity to show your children how the permanence of important relationships survives saying goodbye, and see it as a chance to teach them how to be independent. The way you learn to handle this together will prepare them for a happy and confident adulthood where they can have secure relationships in which they are not needy or smothering.

  3. Don’t tell your children how sad you are going to be when they go
    Don’t make them worry about you, it will make separating much harder and will make them anxious when they are with their mother. They will learn this behaviour from you and tell you how much they are going to miss you too, which will make things worse for you. They much prefer it if they know that you are OK and happy when they are not there. There are plenty more ways to show them how much you care about them, than by making them feel guilty about separating from you.

  4. Remember no one weekend defines your relationship
    Good or bad, no matter how the weekend went, remember, your relationship with your children is not about any single weekend, it’s about being there for your kids week in week out. Bringing up a child is about playing the Long Game. However your weekend went, it’s the long term, underlying relationship that counts. It’s the emotional memory attached to the time you spend together, which builds up over months and years that is so important.

  5. Remember it’s about routine
    Make sure your children (and you) focus on the fact that you are coming back. Don’t wish your life away, just accept that this goodbye is part of the natural cycle of your relationship and saying goodbye means saying hello again soon.

  6. Make an arrangement to phone them
    Blur the edges of your staying access with phone calls and letters.

  7. Talk to them about what they are going to do when they’re back at mummy’s
    Part of dealing with goodbyes is knowing that this goodbye isn’t the end of everything, it’s only just a little part of their life. When they are upset about saying goodbye, chat to them about the things they are going to do at mummy’s house. Maybe they have a nice supper waiting for them, or their nice warm, cosy bed, or maybe they’ll have friends round from school for tea in the week. Chatting about the good things at mummy’s house will make them feel better about leaving you and help them to see that you are going to be OK when they’ve gone too.
    . . . For yourself, fix up things to do when the kids have gone, have someone round or have planned to go out, that way, you’ll have something to look forward to as well.

  8. Well handled goodbyes will give your children confidence and important life skills
    Life is full of goodbyes and it’s important for your children to learn how be secure in themselves so that they can move on after a goodbye. The way you deal with your goodbyes will teach your children a lot about how to deal with changes in their life as they grow up, leave home and start their own, independent adult lives.

  9. Think of the benefits of your situation
    If you are not ready to see the benefits of your situation as a whole, look at any part of it that is better. Focus on the good things about the time you are able to spend with your children, the new things that you can do together, the chance you now have to make friends with them as they grow up and be a valuable (and at times almost independent) ally to them in a way that a parent who lives with their children is often unable to do in those difficult teenage years.

  10. Don’t say goodbye... say, “until next time”.
    A bientôt as the French so perfectly put it.


MicroBlog Archive
WEEK 14, 2009
Dad… can we make something?
Making something with the kids for homework can turn into a memorable and heroic enterprise.
WEEK 13, 2009
How to stop arguing: Part 2
How do you stop an argument if you are already in one, here are our top ten tried and tested ways of halting an argument in its tracks
WEEK 12, 2009
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WEEK 11, 2009
Getting ready for a new arrival
When you become a dad for the first time your life changes dramatically,so here are ten top tips on how you can prepare practically for the new arrival
WEEK 10, 2009
Don't say goodbye...
Ten top tips for dealing with all the goodbyes a single dad has to say and keep on saying.
WEEK 9, 2009
Can I do that again?
Think twice before you dismiss your kid's quirkiest comments, because children approach life with such an open mind, that there is often a great deal of sense in even the strangest things they say.
WEEK 8, 2009
Food of the gods
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WEEK 7, 2009
The last thing I remembered was...
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WEEK 6, 2009
Caring for a sick child
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WEEK 5, 2009
On Passion, Love and Happy Endings
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WEEK 4, 2009
Another Place at Breakfast
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WEEK 3, 2009
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WEEK 2, 2009
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WEEK 52, 2008
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WEEK 51, 2008
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WEEK 50, 2008
Finding dad a date: Part 2, The Dates
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WEEK 49, 2008
Finding dad a date
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WEEK 48, 2008
Christmas and the kids
10 top tips on how to make the most of the Christmas season with your kids when they don't live with you.
WEEK 47, 2008
What do you do about holidays?
10 practical top tips about how plan and negotiate your access over the holidays.
WEEK 46, 2008
Tackling a teenager
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WEEK 45, 2008
Reliable routines
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WEEK 44, 2008
Rules for Rules
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WEEK 43, 2008
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WEEK 42, 2008
Getting it right on your first date
Ten tips on how to make sure that a first date turns into a second date
WEEK 41, 2008
Ten great first dates
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WEEK 40, 2008
Getting started with internet dating
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WEEK 39, 2008
How to encourage your kids to read more
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WEEK 38, 2008
The best ten British TV comedy series shows ever
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WEEK 37, 2008
Ten ways to be positive
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WEEK 36, 2008
10 ways to grow your kids' creativity
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WEEK 35, 2008
Relativity: When dark days feel like months
When you are experiencing the trauma of a serious relationship break up, ironically Time seems to slow down, dragging out the pain and making things much worse.
WEEK 34, 2008
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WEEK 33, 2008
Avoiding pain: Why we stay where it hurts
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WEEK 32, 2008
Burning Building
Internet dating is like being in a burning building looking for someone to help get you out, but the only people who can help you are trapped in the same building with you
WEEK 31, 2008
How far have we come?
Humans have been evolving for 1 million years and it's been 10,000 years since Cro-Magnon man developed the family unit, how far have we really come?
WEEK 30, 2008
Who put that cup there?!
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WEEK 29, 2008
Winners and Losers?
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WEEK 28, 2008
Living apart together
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WEEK 27, 2008
The Children Act, 20 years on, so what's going wrong?
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WEEK 26, 2008
Mummy says we need a haircut
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WEEK 25, 2008
Alchemist's Dream
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WEEK 24, 2008
Happy 100th Birthday, Father's Day
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