How I Stay in Touch With My Dad: A Case Study
Katy, 8, lives with her Mum and her older brother Josh, 9. Her parents split up two years ago and her dad moved to a new town. She says that although she misses her dad, she knows she can speak to him whenever she wants and looks forward to visiting him.
“When Mum and Dad first split up I didn’t really understand what was happening," Katy explained. Although Mum tried to explain it to me, I still thought that Dad was going to come back. When he didn’t, I was worried because I thought that I had done something wrong. Now I know that Mum and Dad just weren’t very good at living together and didn’t like fighting in front of me and Josh (see our article Hiding Arguments From Your Children on this site).
Dad’s House“Dad was living down the road when he first left but then he got a new job in a different town. That was really hard. I was used to seeing him all the time and I really missed him. It used to make me cry and I was angry at him for leaving me and didn’t want to speak to him. Mum told me that Dad missed me too and he was upset because he wanted to talk to me so I rang him on the phone.
“It was really nice to speak to him and we decided that I would go up and stay with him. Josh came too because he wanted to see Dad as well and we had a really good time. It was weird seeing Dad in a different house and, although we had our own bedroom, it didn’t really feel like ours (see our article Making a Home Away from Home for Your Child on this site). The more I have been to stay though, the more I have got used to it, and I go and stay with him in the school holidays. He comes down to see us, too.”
New Ways To Stay In TouchAs well as going to visit her dad and speaking on the phone, Katy has taught him how to use the computer so they can speak over the Internet (see our article Communication With Your Children on this site).
“Webcams are really cool because it means that you can see people when you are talking to them. I really like that when I am missing Dad. We also use Internet Messenger so we can send messages to each other which is fun. Mum won’t let me have a mobile phone yet, but sometimes I send Dad texts on hers and one day I will be able to have one, too.
“I wish that Mum and Dad still lived together but I know that they won’t. I would say to any other children whose parents have split up that it’s not as bad as you think it will be. It can be hard not seeing your Dad but you get used to it and there are lots of ways that you can still talk to each other. Plus, you get to go on fun trips and stay with Dad which is a bit like going on holiday.”Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.