Positive parenting is contributing in the life of your child and building a relationship with them regardless of distance, finances and the relationship with the other parent.
Keep in touch and Track your Child’s progress
If you are not staying with your child, call, message or regularly visit depending on what your schedule allows and find out how your child is doing and what they need. Have clear and smooth communication lines with the other parent or your child’s guardian. Where there is a breakdown of communication get someone to be the mediator. Do not punish the child for bad blood. Speak directly to the child’s teacher and attend school meetings. You can never swap your presence with money or material things.
Be proactive in your Child’s life
Show them some love; regularly go out with them for dinner, movies or a holiday, help with homework and attend their after school activities like sports training and competitions. Assist in childcare activities such as doctor’s appointments or shopping. Be there for them on special occasions such as birthdays, graduations and christmas. Have fun and create good memories!
Be a Positive Role Model
Maintain good relations with the mother or father of your Child and show them some respect. If in conflict resolve these in private and always maintain a united front. Constant fights in front of the children can be detrimental to their growth and wellness. Where a relationship with the other parent is impossible, find other available good role models to help you walk them through life’s milestones. Never expose your child to reckless behaviour such as alcohol, drug abuse or promiscuity. Children watch and learn from what parents do. Do not use them as sounding boards for your problems. Seek counselling if going through difficulty.
As much as you would like to take care of everything on your own, the truth is, attempting to do it all by yourself will only leave you exhausted and demotivated. Get help with housekeeping, laundry, babysitting or even meal preparation. Ask a friend or relative with spare time on their hands or get a domestic helper to ease the burden of running a home and free up your time.
Introduce a new partner only if you are sure of the stability of the relationship. Constantly changing partners in front of the children can negatively affect their outlook on relationships. If you have a new family, make sure your children are a part of it and that your partner fully understands and supports this and always remember that you can never replace their mother or father.
What to do if denied access to your Child
According to the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 the biological parent of a child has full responsibilities and rights to care for the child, maintain contact, act as the guardian and contribute towards their maintenance. Where access to the child is being denied by the other parent, and a resolution cannot be reached, the aggrieved parent will need to make an application to the Family Court who will assist both parties to reach an agreement which is in the best interests of the child. The Office of the Family Advocate is available to you free of charge; they will institute an inquiry and compile a report and recommendations for the Court. The only time a parent can be denied access to their child is when it is legally proven that he or she is an unfit parent for example in the case of child abuse.