You fought long and hard to have the right to spend every Sunday with your children. Now that you have the visitation rights you desired, however, you're facing a different kind of challenge: How do you make the most of these visits, and how you make sure your children feel supported and loved?
Here are a few tips to make sure your child visits are as smooth and beneficial as possible:
- Be flexible with the other parent regarding your visitation schedule and times and locations for pickups and dropoffs to facilitate easy relations.
- Always be respectful with your ex during your interactions.
- Make sure your children feel safe and secure when they're visiting your home.
- Create routines or "rituals" that allow your children to develop a stable sense of "home."
- Stay open, communicative and available to your ex to discuss parenting issues.
- Don't worry about or question the loyalty of your kids. Even if they appear to be grumpy around you, they will always have a strong bond with both parents.
- Do whatever you can to make the transfer process from your home to your ex's home as smooth as possible.
- Encourage time spent with grandparents from both sides.
- Be consistent with discipline and other rules by discussing such issues with your ex.
- Create a space for your kids in your home. Even if the space is simply a section of one room, this can help your kids feel a sense of place and security.
These are just a few ideas that will help you increase the level of safety and happiness that your children feel when they visit your home. Whatever you do, as long as you do your best, time with you is the best gift that they could ever receive. Also, if your visitation rights are ever challenged, make sure to understand the options you have available to assert your rights in court.
Source: jud6.org, "Visitation Dos and Don'ts," accessed Feb. 16, 2018