Establishing a regular parent and child visitation schedule is extremely important. Use the following tips to ensure that each visit strengthens your parent-child relationship.
To your children, visitation may just be the highlight of their day or week. Make sure that these much anticipated visits take place by sticking to a regular visitation schedule.
Take your child's age into consideration.
Children have different needs at different ages. Infants will need shorter, more frequent visits so that a healthy parent-child bond can be established. Older children may want to spend more time with their friends and school activities, which should be taken into consideration when making changes to the visitation schedule.
Plan ahead with things to do.
Have a variety of activities in mind when planning ahead for your next visit. Is there a park nearby where you could take a walk or play? Do you have a soccer ball in your trunk or garage that you could kick around together? Make sure that during your visits you spend time doing things together.
Especially with young children, routines are vital. Try to keep your children's bedtimes and mealtimes consistent. This will not only make it easier for them to maintain their regular sleep schedule, but it will prevent unnecessary crankiness, too.
Be cordial with your ex.
During the exchange, make sure that you are plesant with your ex and refuse to show your children any of the anger and frustration you may be feeling toward him or her. Not only will this be easier on the two of you as adults, but it will ensure that your child's visitation time isn't diminished by the need to calm down after a heated exchange.
There are times when circumstances such as supervised visits may interrupt your regular visitation schedule and introduce a level of discomfort to the time you're spendign together. If this should happen, make every effort to be at ease with your children and behave as naturally as possible with them. This will help them to adjust more quickly to the new setting and allow all of you to get more enjoyment out of the visit.