When my parents were still living with each other, I witnessed how much they fought even for the slightest issue such as establishing rules for me. Things turned even more difficult when they got divorced. I got really confused about what was happening so I ended up not following some of the rules anyway. It is a problem for a lot of divorced fathers especially those who has custody on the child.
Widowed fathers also encounter an almost the same problem when it comes to establishing rules for their kids. Because they try hard not to hurt the kids, they tend to become lenient on them. There are times when they just couldn’t decide on their own, they could only wish that their wife is still there to guide them. That becomes a major reason why single fathers and dating is no longer motivated by love or attraction but of partnership. Single fathers tend to find a new wife and a new mother for their kids.
Not knowing what to do with the child and not having a single fathers match should not prevent you from imposing rules on your children. If it is what is best for your children, then you should do something about it. You should not enter into a compromise that would only end up jeopardizing your children’s future. Divorced parents rarely agree on the rules imposed on the children. It is best then to have these rules written down and implemented in both households.
This is applicable especially for fathers of teens. Some fathers think its best for their children to follow a certain bedtime rule but the ex-wife tends to be lenient about it.
Rules are often more difficult to implement for widowed fathers. Some of the experiences I have encountered happened when the kids began telling their dad that there was no such rule implemented back when their mother was still alive. You have to let the children know, then, that now that their mother is gone, you are the one who’s in charge.
However, sometimes, fathers tend to implement rules that they think are fair especially to the girls. In such cases, the widowed father’s mothers should be consulted for advice. Always remember that rules should not be totalitarian. They are not meant to be broken but they are breakable whenever there is a valid explanation. Sometimes, you may even find the need to reevaluate the rules. If your ex-wife is still around, you can ask for her help. Also, you may need to discuss this with the children especially if the new rule will not be in their favor.
Fathers who are single dating have the tendency to become too lenient with their kids as if they are doing it so that the children will approve of their own actions. For one, there is nothing to bargain for. It’s your right to date a new woman when you are rightfully divorced or widowed. Don’t let your children subject you to blackmail, wittingly or unwittingly. Set your boundaries. You are their father and you know what’s best for them. You are not being mean to them, you are just doing your obligation to guide them as they grow up.