Ask any parent who used to see their child every day, and now, in the wake of divorce or some other separation, only has visitation. They’ll all say the same thing – the hardest part is the lost time with their child. Across the board, non-custodial parents struggle with the fact that they are not a part of their child’s daily life anymore.
Although, while that can be a source of great emotional pain, and we completely understand that, there are a host of ways that you can make the most of the time that you do have with your child. Visitation, called parenting time in Michigan, may not be the arrangement you want, we understand that. Though if it’s what you have for right now, then the best thing you could possible do, both for you and for your child, is make the best of it!
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. In addition, your negative attitude will affect the time that you have with your child. No kid is going to want to spend regular time with a parent who is always grumpy and complaining, and you can hardly blame them. After all, 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 are together. Think about how much you love your child, and what a privilege it is to be with them, even if it’s only for a short time. Maintaining a positive attitude while you and your child are together will make that time more meaningful, more pleasurable, and more relaxed. Which in the long run, is better for both you and your child.
Pick Your Battles!
You may hate the current arrangement, and you may even feel that it’s all the other parent’s fault, (and you may be right!) But venting your frustrations every time you pick up or drop off your child, or interact over the phone isn’t going to help things. For you or for your child.
Engaging your ex in an argument when picking up your child eats into the time you could be spending with your child. In addition, it will put you in a bad mood which as we mentioned before, will have a negative impact on your attitude and may make you unpleasant to be around. This could make your child uncomfortable and unhappy when they are with you.
Being cooperative and being willing to be flexible will go a long way towards making things easier for you in the future. For example, being accommodating of your ex’s schedule, and not being unpleasant about little changes as they come up, will likely 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.
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 517 886 1000. Our experienced family law attorneys have spent decades helping the families of mid-Michigan with all of their family law needs.