Single dad’s golden rule
Live by this rule and you’ll become your child’s and your ex’s hero!
I received a surprise phone call the other day from a man who’d been reading my columns. His marriage was ending and he was concerned about access to his young son who was born a few months ago. Suddenly I was thrust into the role of advisor to a situation which I was well acquainted with. His situation was all too familiar.

The relationship was hanging on a thread before the pregnancy. It seemed that having the baby was a last-gasp attempt to save the marriage, and now that the novelty had worn off, the original problems persisted and it was clear that calling it quits was probably the best for all concerned, except the baby of course.

I was moved by his passion for his young child. He was concerned to the point of changing his very established career and moving to another city to be a part of his child’s life. The missus was beginning to play games with regard to his future access to baba.

Now here’s the thing, single dads, listen up. BE NICE TO THE MAMA. When they begin to put you through hoops, it’s their way of testing you. On a subconscious level they’re finding out if you are good dad material. Any man willing to fight for his child, and who can survive the emotional see-sawing of an irrational woman, is perfect father material.

So don’t lose it or throw your toys when she says one minute, that you can see your kid whenever you like, then changes her mind the next day. Or says she’s thinking of joining a travelling circus and will send you postcards of little Joey every other month. She’s messing with you, yes, but she’s also testing you to see how badly you want this. And that’s the question, be careful what you wish for, ‘cos you might just get it!

Our sons and daughters need good, solid, loving, passionate father role models. Men who are proud and happy to be fathers. Men who will fight off the baddies to the death to be in the lives of their offspring. These days the baddies aren’t the wicked wolves or witches of fairy tales, they are the seemingly irrational whims of moms who may be angry at the disintegration of a relationship and think that only they know best for baba. All humans have a built in capacity to fight to the death for something they value more than anything else. In fathers, in my opinion, it should be their sons and daughters!

When a relationship ends and there are kids at stake, BE NICE TO THE MOM, because the first year it’s all about the mama. And in my experience, when the anger subsides and real life continues, she will remember your support, caring and niceness and will see the logic in letting you into her offspring’s life.

Yes, as far as she is concerned you’re just the sperm donor. Of course it’s crazy, but that’s the nature of the beast, she’ll come round, and when she does she’ll want the strongest, most passionate dad to father her cub.

I’ve been there, and this was my experience. Good parenting and good will has its just rewards. Don’t give up on your kids, ever, because of the irrational behaviour of an adult. Instead, change their behaviour with love and kindness. It may take a while, but you if your motives are good and you want to be in your child’s life for the right reasons, you WILL get what you want!

Do you think Marlon’s advice is the way to good relationships between exes?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.


Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?




Balance routine and creativity

Little people need routine, but creative play is also essential. Try these activities with them to balance the two.

See more >


Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.