How to Prepare for an Upcoming Extended Visit with Your Children
Summer break is officially here and flying by, as it typically does. While this season is usually marked with sun and fun-filled days, it can be a trying period for divorced families. Co-parenting is no easy feat, but at the end of the day your children have to be the priority. That being said, we’re providing you with a few tips that can benefit everyone.
As the parent who has primary custody of your children, you may find that summertime means a longer period of time without your children. Whether it’s a long weekend or even weeks, there are some things you should attempt to do. First, and most importantly, let your children enjoy their time with their other parent. Do this by being positive, happy, and encouraging leading up to the visit. Regardless of your personal feelings toward their other parent, it’s crucial that you support their relationship. It’s never a good idea to place unnecessary burdens, pressure or guilt on the children. While your children are away, instead of saying how much you miss them, try telling them you are thinking about them and you love them. While regular contact with your children is fine, allow them to enjoy their time and try to stay neutral if any non-threatening situations are to arise at the other house.
It is important to understand that an extended visit is going to be different than a weekend or afternoon outing. From a logistical sense, you need to prepare accordingly. Try to accommodate your children with a comfortable space that makes them feel at home, their normal foods and other supplies needed to keep their routine as regular as possible. Allow and encourage them to contact their other parent regularly. While your children are probably accustomed to shorter visits with you, often filled with lots of activity, these visits can be more casual and relaxed. Be sure to be available to them and show them how much you care about them by just spending quality time with them.
Whichever parent you are, these visits will be much easier and more beneficial for everyone involved if you follow one simple step: put your child’s physical and emotional wellbeing first and everything else second. Leave any issues you have with your ex-spouse in the past (at least during your child’s visit) and focus on building a quality relationship with him or her, ensuring they have a great time and leave your home with a stronger bond and lasting memories.