You have your parenting plan in place and your child visitation schedule in hand. The hard part is over, right? Not really. Now that you have finalized your Washington State divorce and started your new life, it is vital that your children successfully acclimate to their new reality and feel love and concern from both their parents. You can help them with this transition by making certain that your children have healthy, happy visits at your home if you have partial physical custody.
What are Some Ways to Ensure a Successful Visit for Your Kids?
• Keep to your schedule and be on time. Part of making sure that your children trust you and can depend on you is making sure that you don’t miss visits and that you aren’t late. While you might believe that you have a good reason to miss a weekend or keep them waiting, they have to believe that they are the most important thing in your life.
• Have a routine for when your kids get to your home. Help them unpack their clothes into their dressers, have a snack waiting for them in the kitchen, or have a favorite television show that you sit down and watch. Small rituals and routines are extremely helpful for kids of all ages to cope with change.
• Don’t bad mouth your ex-spouse. Also, don’t ask your kids to bring back information about your ex and what they are up to. Neither is fair to your children.
• Don’t treat visits like vacations. Weekends with your kids don’t have to be non-stop parties and field trips. Have your kids pack homework they might need help with, a book to read, or other normal activities. Adhere to regular bedtimes schedules, and don’t hesitate to assign a chore, like making their bed each morning or feeding pets.
• Ask how your kids are doing. And listen to their answers.
• Make sure your kids’ needs are met. Don’t forget your most basic responsibilities as a parent: make sure your kids have enough to eat, clean clothes, and lots of love and support.
Do you need help with your child visitation schedule? Call child custody attorney Molly Kenny at her Seattle family law office.