As a divorced dad in Tennessee, you only want what’s best for your kids. However, parenting after a divorce can be a complex undertaking, especially if you have a contentious relationship with your former spouse. To help you along, Parents offers the following tips on how to be the best dad possible for your children.

Be the dad you wanted as a child

Even people with great relationships with their fathers may wish he’d done things differently. If this is true for you, take time to reflect on this relationship and the ways it left you unfulfilled as a child and adult. Maybe your dad worked too much or was too constrained with his feelings. Whatever the issue, take steps to remove these roadblocks from your relationship with your children.

Spend plenty of time with your kids

Divorce often affects one’s finances and this can leave many dads feeling inadequate when it comes to their kids. Remember that the most important aspect of being a father is simply being there. Spend as much time as possible with your kids and make sure this time is filled with laughter and love. This can be difficult for non-custodial parents, who must adhere to the schedule agreed upon in court. However, you can strive to make the most of the time spent with your kids.

Don’t be cruel to your child

Anger and frustration can sometimes get the better of a man. Keep in mind that even minor instances of cruelty, which include losing your temper and using harsh words against your child, may lead to a lifetime of doubt and insecurity. Instead, instill in your child the importance of kindness and exemplify this trait in every interaction. If you’re struggling with anger after a divorce, consider counseling.