You’re probably familiar with a situation in which it seems like a non-custodial parent spoils their children during their visitation. This might include a lack of discipline, extra sugar allowances or prioritizing play over purpose.
It’s easy to critique someone else’s interaction with their children. But when you find yourself staring down a co-parenting relationship, recognizing a healthy way to handle limited time together may not be as simple.
How can you embrace a visitation schedule after divorce?
Nobody says visitation can’t include fun, but it’s important to remember your role in your kids’ lives. Homework and social activities, for example, are essential – not only to a child’s growth and development, but also for stability after their world crumbles.
Some of the ways you can help your children adjust include:
- Making the most of your schedule. Don’t leave the kids waiting for you, and avoid making other plans that cut into visitation. You can’t expect your children to understand how much you value them once you’re no longer with them day in and day out, so try not to exacerbate any potential feelings of abandonment they may have.
- Learning something new. Along with watching your children grow up comes the joy (and unfortunate pain) of exploring different interests and opportunities. Participating in activities together can help establish a unique bond to build upon in the years to come.
- Making your new place feel like home. Think about how uncomfortable it must be for your children to suddenly spend time in a different environment; kids shouldn’t feel like visitors with a parent. Help them explore the neighborhood and meet new playmates to provide a sense of belonging.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that no matter what happened between you and your former spouse, your children don’t belong in the middle of adult conflict.
Both of you are special to your kids. The more you focus on the best interests of your children, the better you’ll all move forward from the changes in your recent past.