Parents (usually dads), who don’t have custody of their children, but have visitation instead, often struggle with the issue of being involved enough in their children’s lives. Children, by nature, are very focused on themselves and their own lives, so parents who don’t get to play a daily role in their kid’s lives can sometimes feel as if their kids don’t need or care about them. In essence, they’re afraid that if they don’t see enough of their kids, they won’t be important or relevant to their children.
Remember: Your kids love you, no matter what!
In truth, your kids (no matter how self-absorbed they might seem), love you very much. They miss you when they don’t see you, and they want more time with you. However, that isn’t always possible. Sometimes it’s the result of work schedules, sometimes it’s because a divorce is contentious and custody becomes a battle. And sometimes it’s because the court assigned custody in a way that isn’t as fair as it should be.
Not everyone is okay with the custody agreement they get.
Whatever the reason, sometimes parents get less time with their kids than they’d like. And in those situations, they may feel like the time they get isn’t enough to sustain a meaningful relationship. But there are ways to maximize the time you get with your kids, and make every minutes count, so that your time together is as meaningful and important as possible. And there are things you can do to get as much time with them as possible. Let’s look at some of your options…
- If you’re allowed to be there, then be there!
Many parents might not have custody, but they are allowed to attend their children’s sporting events and school-related activities. And if that sounds like your situation, then we recommend you make the most of those opportunities. If your child plays soccer or football, or acts in their school’s drama club productions, make sure you show up for as many games and theater productions as possible (including rehearsals and practices), even if it’s not during your visitation times. Not only will it give you extra chances to see your child, but it will show them that you care about what they’re involved in, and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to see them. You could even volunteer to coach, or help with after school programs to get more time with your kids!
- If you can, be involved in anything that concerns them!
If you’re allowed to be present for parent teacher conferences, then you should definitely show up. If you can be present for doctors appointments, or hospital visits, then you should make the effort to do so. Not only does it give you a chance to see your child more, it gives you a chance to be there for them during scary or stressful times, which helps to build stronger parent-child relationships.
If you need help with your custody or visitation agreements…
Join us next time as we wrap up this two part series on how to make the best of your visitation time with your child. Until then, if you have questions or concerns about your custody agreement, or need help with your Michigan divorce, call 866 766 5245. Our experienced family law attorneys have spent decades helping the families of mid-Michigan with all of their family law needs, and we can help you too.