What are the best films for divorced or separated dads? I guess different films will affect you in different ways depending on the stage of your separation or divorce and your own feelings and experiences. In my view, these are “must sees” for any divorced or separated dad.
Accepting Change and Changing
Your relationship didn’t work out. You are looking at a separation or a divorce. Your child or children are caught in the middle. There is, however, a silver lining here; people can and do change. A new child changes practically every aspect of your life. Your priorities change. You are faced with new sleeping patterns, new expenses, new ways of balancing work and home responsibilities, looking at things like life insurance and disability insurance for the first time, etc. Some couples adapt to these changes well, others do not. Lack of change, or inflexibility towards it, can sometimes lead to trouble in a relationship.
Separation and/or divorce can also be a strong impetus for change (some of it voluntary, some of it not voluntary). In any case, you have a choice to reflect and make any changes that you feel are needed or required. In all instances, the best interest of your child or children should be paramount. If you were insensitive, become more sensitive. If you were an alcoholic, quit drinking. If you were unattuned to your partners feelings, take steps to become more attuned. In any case, take the steps that are necessary to make things work between you and your child and you and your ex-partner or ex-spouse. Your child, your partner, and you all deserve this.
Kramer Vs Kramer (1979)
This is a terrific film about change. Dustin Hoffman is a career obsessed ad exec. He is working so hard to get a new account and a promotion that he ignores the needs of his family. He simply is too obsessed to notice the signs that something is wrong. His wife (Meryl Streep) leaves him suddenly one day and leaves their son, Billy, behind in the care of Dustin Hoffman. Dustin Hoffman builds a beautiful bond with his son during the ensuing months and changes to meet his needs as best as he knows how. I love the scenes with the french toast, after the accident at the playground, and the final court scenes the most. If you have not seen this beauty of a movie, you must see it. It is a beautiful testament to change.
Separated and divorced parents need to continue to be a positive role model to their children. Don’t complain or badmouth your ex. Don’t complain about the change in circumstances. Move on with a positive attitude. Perhaps easier said than done, it is absolutely necessary. You are modelling to your child or children how to deal with difficult situations when they arise. You are also setting the stage for future interactions with your ex. Be positive and be strong. Your child needs (and deserves) to see this in action.
Here is a film that demonstrates magnificent strength in the face of a difficult circumstance.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Will Smith is a struggling salesman who takes custody of his son. He takes major measures to better his life and the life of his son and consistently endeavors to shield his son from the harshness of this situation as it unfolds. It is a beautiful story of strength and endurance, for the sake of a child, in the face of all odds.
On Separation and Divorce and Fathers
Both of these movies make me cry each and every time that I watch them. I can’t give them full credit for helping me through my own separation (much of this has been through my own volition), but it sure helps to see stories that show a separation experience. In reality there is relatively little support for separated or divorced fathers. Just do a quick Google search on divorced mothers (31,000,000 hits) versus divorced dads (3,960,000 hits) and you’ll soon see the difference. In any case, change what you need to change to be a good father and be strong – your child or children, your ex, and you deserve it.
I have posted a question “What are the best films for divorced or separated dads?” on the right top corner of this page. I would love to hear about other great movies. Please post your answer. Also, please feel free to post a comment below. We would all love to hear from you.
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