Separation and divorce can gut your self-esteem. Whether you blame yourself for the split or think it was the best decision for your family, no one wants to be away from their children. Worse? You might feel nervous about caring for them on your own. Having expert advice to follow can help.
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Mr. Dad, aka Armin Brott, is a father of three who has published eight books on fatherhood in the past 15 years and has a column featured in publications around the globe. His blog is one of the most popular parenting resources on the Internet. But is he the right source for advice for single fathers?
Brott is the Dear Abby of Dads, handing out sensible, good-quality advice that will improve your relationships and make you feel like a better parent. He covers topics specifically for the singles market, like when babies should start overnight parenting time and what to do when co-parenting doesn’t work.
Of course, there’s a lot that isn’t geared for single fathers. While written from a father’s perspective, the column answers questions from moms, grandparents and the occasional child, along with dads of all kinds. Someone who is new to divorce might have a tough time reading this advice, such as when Brott gives single moms tips on dating or on how to blend new families.
On the other hand, it might help men’s confidence to realize “the superdad of superdads” is (or was, at one time) a single dad himself. Divorced in 1996 with two daughters in tow, the former marine turned his new role into a career all its own. Today, he’s a work-at-home dad to two teens and their 4-year-old half-sister. He successfully co-parents with his ex, while his current wife heads off every day to work.
Brott is proof positive that separating or divorcing doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a father and that being an involved dad doesn’t make you a pansy either. But it’s a stretch to say his life experience today reflects the life of many men in his audience. Depending on the issues you’re presently dealing with, that could be a good or bad thing.
It’s worth noting, however, that Brott has a book aimed at the audience, “The Single Father: A Dad’s Guide to Parenting Without a Partner.” The book isn’t just for divorced or separated dads either but runs the gamut from widowers to those who opted for surrogacy or adoption with the intention of parenting on their own.
For the most part, it’s received good reviews, with a few eyebrows raised over dating suggestions post-divorce. It offers practical suggestions for discussing the changes the family is going through with the kids and to help them deal with their emotions.
The book might be a better option if the column pings a nerve.
You can read the Mr. Dad column in various newspapers, or directly at Brott’s site here: here.
You can buy or download his The Single Father: A Dad’s Guide to Parenting Without a Partner on Amazon.