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Positive tone advised to repair dad-child relationship

You're a divorced parent who does not have child custody. What do you have to do to maintain a good relationship with your child? That's a question asked often in Minnesota and across the United States by parents who don't enjoy child custody but have only visitation rights

It can be tough, especially if your child's other parent is saying negative things about you. That influence can turn off a child's affection, frequently making the child not even want to spend time with you. Still, there are ways to get that relationship back, but experts advise that patience is required.

It all starts by being the bigger person. Even if your ex has said bad things about you to your child, don't be tempted to do the same in retaliation. The child will notice. At the same time your positive attitude will also be noticed and likely help the child draw favorable conclusions.

Be consistent with that approach. Don't try to convince the child that other people are wrong about you. That may only lead to confusion and leave the child feeling torn. Rather, experts advise that you should yourself and be that well.

In all cases, follow the adage that if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all. Remember that you do not like being berated by the family and friends of the other parent. Do not repeat their mistake.

Being a non-custodial parent is not easy. A concerned parent doesn't want to miss a moment of a child's life. So the experts suggest doing all you can to stay positive, or at least neutral about the other side of the family. Make visits with your child fun. Such practice will go a long way toward rebuilding and maintaining a strong relationship.

Source: Chicago Parent, "Divorced dad seeks advice on saving relationship with son," Jennifer DuBose, Oct. 8, 2012

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