Friday, January 11, 2008

Staying close to teens is harder for separated Dads

While fathers are often criticised for having insufficient contact with their children following a separation, it seems to me that the logistics of holding down and job and living elsewhere can make it tough for separated fathers to keep the level of contact they - or most of them - would like. Both the children and the (usually) mother they are living with have their own routines around work, school and extra-curricular activities and navigating around these is difficult especially if the relationship between the parents is one of hostility.

Now a piece of research reported on Psych Central News shows that there is a particular danger of separated Dads finding themselves distanced from their teenage children unless they are able to make an extra effort to keep up contact. The US research, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, found that 48 per cent of teenagers questioned said they had a consistently close relationship with their father where the parents were still together. But if the parents were divorced that percentage fell to 25 per cent. Divorce did not significantly affect the relationship with the mother.

This suggests that separated men need to work extra hard on their relationship with their teenage children. As I mentioned above, that can be a very tall order indeed and it requires the cooperation of all concerned.

(This is the complete post. Ignore "Continue reading" link below.)

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