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  • Writer's pictureLori Hammer

Let Them Be the "Fun" Parent!

Family Law resolutions offer opportunities to make a fresh start and improve your life. For help with your divorce, parentage (including child support and parenting time), prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in Chicago, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600 or email Angela at

Some parents worry that when they are the disciplinarian, they are not perceived as the "fun" parent anymore. There may be situations where the kids stay with Mom during the school year and Dad only has them in the summertime or on the weekends. Children might view one parent as the "fun parent" and the other parent as someone who has rules, structure, and discipline.

To put this topic in simple terms... STOP WORRYING ABOUT BEING THE FUN PARENT! Remember that your child loves you regardless. This is not a competition. Children are not meant to always like their parents. If you are worrying about being "liked" by your child, then you might need to reevaluate your priorities. Children will always like what is fun, easy, and carefree. If it were up to children, they would eat cotton candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

If Dad is not always around or only has certain times/dates with the child and he wants to play the role of the "fun parent," then let him! Why, one might ask? "This doesn't seem fair" or "My child always has a fun time with Dad while I am stuck doing the grunt work."

The fact of the matter is that children need balance. If you are the disciplinarian and provide structure and rules, then you must remember that it is far more important for you to establish their future than to be the "fun or likable" parent.

Try not to view it as a competition of who is the "cooler" parent. Change your perspective to view it as a chance for you to also take the time to relax, have some time to yourself, pick up a new hobby, go out with friends, or go on a nice date! Know that your child is still able to get the best of both worlds. Not everything needs to be a competition. If your child likes to be around Dad, then please know there are far worse things that could be the case. The parent with less parental responsibility might very well be the fun parent because they are not in charge of round-the-clock care.

This is an opportunity for you to let Dad do some of the parenting while you try to enjoy yourself and permit yourself to have some freedom to live your life outside of being a parent full time.

This is an opportunity for your child to bond with the other parent regardless of your differences. Try not to make things harder than they need to be and trust the process!

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