Divorce is often an emotionally taxing time. But when you and your ex have kids together, they may have to split their time between you and their other parent. The prospect of only seeing your kids every few days – or weeks – can be devastating.
Although a visitation arrangement may be far from ideal, approaching it in the right way can help maximize enjoyment for both you and your kids. Today, we provide three tips to making the best out of a difficult situation:
Stay in touch between visits.
The time you spend apart from your kids can be extremely difficult. But just because you may only have infrequent visitation rights with your kids doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected while you’re apart. Call them when they get home from school to find out how their day went. Text or video chat with them before bedtime. You could even send them a fun card in the mail just to let them know you’re thinking of them.
Whether together or apart, always try to keep the communication cheerful and upbeat. You may feel heartbroken on the inside, but your kids aren’t the ones you should open up to about these feelings. Nevertheless, it’s important to find healthy outlets for your grief or frustration. Confide in close friends or consult with a counselor. You may want to join a sports club to let off steam.
Plan for fun.
You want to maximize the time you get to spend with your kids – without disrupting their regular routine too much. Plan fun activities during visitation to make the most out of your time together. Find long-term activities that can carry over from one visit to the next, such as reading chapter books aloud together. Such activities will also give your children something to look forward to when they see you next.
Above all, try to view your visitation as an opportunity – rather than a court-ordered arrangement. Look at it as a chance to spend time with your kids and help develop a close relationship with them.