In this article, you will learn:
- Possible gender stereotypes prevalent in custody cases
- How alienation from a parent can be dealt with
The bigger gender stereotype is that sometimes dads feel maybe unmanly or something like that about doing things like caring for infants, and so dads sometimes don’t want to get a bottle, they don’t want to change a diaper, they don’t want to have to burp the baby, and that’s not because moms are better than that, it’s because of some weird societal pressure that those things are somehow not masculine activities for men to engage in. Frankly, that’s stupid. That’s a stupid reason to not spend time bonding with your kid because that bonding is really important. Good dad is going to be there; he knows how to change a diaper, he knows how to get a bottle, he knows how to warm it up, he knows what amount of milk to feed the baby, and he knows how to burp them afterwards. That’s absolutely not some kind of bad thing for men to engage in, and if someone’s telling you that it’s a stereotype, don’t listen to them because kids are going to bond with you during that time as you perform those tasks.
And yes, nobody wants to deal with a blowout diaper, but that’s part of your job. If you’re a good dad, you’re going to handle it. If you’re a bad dad, you’re not, but then mom’s going to be in court saying “He doesn’t even know how to change a diaper. He lets his kid hang out in their own filth. He doesn’t know how to feed the kid and I always get him back crying because they’re hungry. He doesn’t keep the kid on a schedule so the kid’s always cranky because they don’t get their proper naps with dad.” That’s not where you want to be. That sort of thing is how dads end up only having their kids every other weekend.
How Fathers Can Navigate A Situation In Which They Are Being Alienated From Their Children.
In family court, a lot of times the evidence is often testimony, and its often people talking about things that they did. So if dad can talk about the stuff he did with this kid, it lends a lot of credibility to their testimony. But for that testimony to really be credible, you have to know a lot about your kid; things are going to fall apart if you don’t know the teachers, don’t know the doctors, don’t know the coaches, etc. Additionally, the kid’s going to remember you being there with them, and if the kid gets a chance to talk – and they sometimes do, not in court but in other ways such a through a child interview – they will hopefully bring that up.
In worst case scenarios, you may find yourself having to get third parties involved, and there may be counseling to help repair any fractures in the relationship. That can be a way to deal with alienation too because the counselor’s going to notice if the child is making consistently one-sided statements. Those third parties can be a crucial way to keep someone from getting boxed out of their kid’s life, but even just the basic principle of gathering some kind of evidence, pictures, maybe a journal, or anything you can point at to prove you were active in the child’s life, and showing it to the court and to third parties can be helpful. Bad dad will just show up one day in court and hope that if he says, “Well, I don’t have any evidence, but trust me, I have a great relationship with my kid, I swear”, it’ll be good enough, but it won’t be.