Welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’ve been addressing the issue of how non-custodial parents (moms and dads with visitation but not custody) can build strong relationships with their kids. We’re also addressing that heartbreaking concern that many parents have when they only see their children once or twice a week for a few hours – how do you stay relevant in your children’s lives. As we pointed out before, your kids love you and miss you, so don’t worry about that. But the issue here is how to maximize the time you have with them so that it really counts.
Ways to be involved in your children’s lives:
- Quality can be just as important as quantity!
Making an effort to spend every minute you get with your child being present and engaged will make all of the time you have together far more meaningful. Being physically “with” your child, but not engaging them or being present in the moment wastes that opportunity. So put your phone away, choose to forgo screen time (unless it’s something you’re enjoying together), and give your child your undivided attention. Talk to them, ask them questions about what’s going on in their life, and pay attention to them as individuals. Your relationship will be stronger for it, and you’ll both enjoy your time together more.
- Keep your attitude positive
If you go into a planned visitation with your child with a smile on your face and a positive outlook, chances are you’ll both enjoy it a lot more. Being grumpy, unapproachable or bitter will make the encounter unpleasant for your child as well as yourself, and if you’re usually in a bad mood when you get together (even if your mood has more to do with visitation restrictions and not your child), chances are your kid will personalize it. That could mean they assume you don’t want to see them, and they shut you out emotionally.
- Remember to be a parent, not a “buddy”
Your child doesn’t need another friend, or a playmate, they need a parent. Specifically, they need a parent who loves them and cares about their wellbeing, and is invested in their success. They need a parent that sets boundaries, is compassionate when they’re struggling, and listens respectfully when they have something to say. You may feel compelled to be their buddy in order to make them like you more, but resist the temptation. It won’t help your relationship in the long run.
Parenting is hard work, but it’s also a source of great joy!
Hopefully these tips will help you in maximizing your parenting time with your child. Being a parent is both a great responsibility and a great joy – so make the most of what you have, and you will find the time you do get will be that much more enjoyable. However, if you have questions about your custody arrangement, or want to know about changing your visitation times, please call our skilled and experienced family law attorneys at 866 766 5245. We’re here 24/7 to help.