Ask any parent who previously saw their child every day, and now has only visitation, what the hardest part is and their answers are pretty much the same across the board. If there is one thing non-custodial parents struggle with, it’s the fact that they’re not a part of their child’s daily life anymore. As parents ourselves, we understand how difficult that separation is. However, while that can be a source of incredible pain, there are lots of ways that you can make the most of the time you still have with your child.
Keep a positive attitude when you’re together.
It’s all about the attitude. No, seriously, it really is. You may be frustrated about the limits that your visitation schedule places on you, but being angry or resentful won’t fix it. What it will affect is the attitude you have when you’re with your child. No kid will want to spend regular time with a parent who is always grumpy and complaining. (And you can hardly blame them!)
Remember, whatever the custody arrangement is, your child didn’t choose it and they shouldn’t be punished for it. So make a choice to focus on the positive while you’re with your kid. Think about how much you love them, and what a privilege it is to be with them, even if it is only for a short time. Maintaining a positive attitude while you’re together will make that time more meaningful, and more enjoyable, which is better for both you and your child in the long run, anyway.
Make an effort to work with the other parent.
You may hate the current arrangement, and you may even believe that it’s all the other parent’s fault. (And you may be right.) But getting into an argument every time you pick up or drop off your child, or have a phone conversation isn’t going to help things for you or for your child.
Being cooperative and being willing to be flexible will go a long way towards making things easier for you in the future. Being accommodating of your ex’s schedule, and not being unpleasant about little changes as they come up, may well result in your ex extending the same courtesy to you when the time comes. Also, it will make it easier down the road if you want to adjust the custody agreement in your favor.
Be aware and informed of your rights as a parent.
Familiarizing yourself with your rights as a parent will give you the ability to be a part of your child’s life in as many ways as possible. If you have a right to overnights, use them! If you’re allowed to attend your child’s after school sports games and parent teacher meetings, then by all means go. Are you allowed access to your child’s medical records? Then get copies and read them thoroughly.
The more you make use of the rights allowed to you, the more you will be participating in your child’s life, even if the participation is indirect in some areas. Don’t allow an opportunity to be involved in your child’s life slip away because you didn’t know it even existed, or because it didn’t seem important at the time. Make every opportunity count.
Hopefully this information will help you in making the most of your visitation with your child, and also your rights as a non-custodial parent. 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 have will be that much more enjoyable. If you have questions about your parenting time rights, or would like to modify your custody agreement, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled family law attorneys are available 24/7 to help you figure this out.