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Old 02.09.2011, 14:15
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Re: Single dad bringing daughter from UK for holidays

This unfortunately is the reality of divorce; it's not getting rid of your partner, it's losing the kids which is the killer. The battle with your ex is chicken feed compared to the inner turmoil of the kids and not seeing them regularly.

Glad you had a good time, whatever people may say, this country is very kid friendly and there is plenty to do.
I totally agree on the remark that this country is very child friendly indeed. Apart from the free travel, there really is tons of stuff a child could do here.

As to the reality of divorce bit, I agree losing the kids (only one in my case) can be a killer. I have now been divorced for 5 years and initially I was so devastated that I did not even want to see my daughter (5 years old at the time) as it was so painful to see her on a part time basis, and not having any control or say in her upbringing, and missing her every time I ate something, and all the little things that those lucky enough to live with their kid take for granted like picking her up after school or tucking her in bed before the bed time kiss. I wanted to start on a clean page so to speak. I was probably too sad and depressed.

But human nature is such that we all adapt to new conditions and re-adjust to reality. I recognise and accept that her permanent home is with her mother, and recognise also that all bridges to that home for me are broken. I must admit my daughter played a big role herself in strengthening her bond with me, she had (and still does) have so much energy and zest for life, which takes me back to my own childhood and makes me forget all adult problems. Without exaggerating, she acted in many ways a lot more mature than either of her parents (like in the early days when I was contemplating walking away completely (she was 5) and one day as we walked in the park she knelt down to pick an acorn saying ‘I give you this so that you will always remember me’ – who taught her this line or why she said it when she did is beyond me) . But I learnt one thing; that children know a heck of a lot more than they show. That acorn stayed with me to this day.

It has been a learning curve for me all these years and I am still learning. These days I get to see her every 2-3 weeks, and the 48 hours or so that I am with her I am totally hers and we enjoy every second of it. I see her on Skype whenever I want or she wants and she shows me her work/homework and talks forever about anything and everything. And I have forgiven all that happened with her mother – though not forgotten - and try to keep her happy with money matters and sometimes buy my way into my child’s life. I think I have become a better father than I could have ever been had I stayed at home and fought her mum constantly; and I no longer take my child for granted. I have come to realise also that in a special situation like this, my only duty as a father is to make sure that my child is happy and that she is safe. All else is beyond me and I leave that with her mum, her school, and the lord above. And I have a strong feeling that a bright future awaits her. Sorry for all this, but I hope it helps someone somewhere out there to appreciate that there can be life after life is destroyed
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:26
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Re: Single dad bringing daughter from UK for holidays

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‘I give you this so that you will always remember me’
I think that's the most moving line I've read on this Forum.

Great thread and thanks to all - I got lots of good ideas for our kids as well.
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Old 02.09.2011, 14:56
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Re: Single dad bringing daughter from UK for holidays

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Hi All, I am a single dad and have been working near Chur for last 3 months. I have been seeing my 10 year old daughter back home in UK (normally lives with mother) every 2-3 weeks for 3 day weekends. With the school holidays I would really love to spend some more time with her and treat her to a good holiday. I can only afford to take a week off from work at present, and plan to fly home and bring her here. Question: Are there any exciting children activities you could recommend where perhaps she could mix with other kids? She is very sociable but like me she knows no German I am thinking of going on a few train rides, perhaps to Zurich Zoo and St Moritz or the Glacier Express, which are 2 hours each from me. Has anyone got any other ideas?
I didn't read through the entire thread, but I have children around your daughter's age and I've traveled lots with them.

My 2 cents, if it helps at all:

If your daughter hasn't seen where you live before, and she's flying, she's going to feel kind of anxious and emotional. I suspect she would very much appreciate being accompanied by you for her first visit, especially since you say she is nervous about going alone. I wouldn't even talk further about the possibility of her taking flights independently for now.

Furthermore, I like to let my children develop their owns lists of activities to do on a trip. You could forward some of these suggestions to get her started, but let her identify her own interests. She'll be more invested in the itinerary that way.

I also wouldn't push doing too much. I don't know how much she has traveled in the past, but just going on this visit to see you is a lot of excitement already. She may want to have lots of time to rest and settle in, and do activities in your neighborhood. That may be less fun for you, but the idea is to help her become comfortable in your new home, too.

Good luck! I hope you have a wonderful visit together.
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