While you may agree or disagree with a temporary court-ordered parenting schedule, one thing is for sure: it’s essential that you comply and continue to care for your children to avoid unnecessary disruption to them. Wisselman, Harounian & Associates is here to give you some general guidelines to enjoy your parenting time with your children despite the circumstances.
Listen to Your Kids
This is by far the most important aspect of caring for children regardless of your family situation, but it is doubly important in a child custody or divorce situation. In divorce arrangements, parents often have difficulty distinguishing what they want for their child and what their child wants.
For example, you may want to lavish them with gifts, special outings, and love, but if they request that you give them space, it’s crucial that you abide by their stated wishes. While a divorce may have been in the works for years, a child may feel blindsided. Therefore, one of the best ways to care for your kids is to listen and respond to their needs in spite of your needs.
Realize a Bad Spouse Can Be a Good Parent
Don’t be offended if your kids want to talk about or are excited to see your ex. While your ex may have been a difficult spouse, that doesn’t always translate to their abilities as a parent. Divorced spouses often feel like they are competing to be the “best or better parent.” Unfortunately, this line of thinking can be devastating to your children’s health and happiness. When divorcees work together to care for their children, this can result in both parents being valued and loved equally by their kids.
Make the Most of the Time You Have
In custody scenarios, your time with your children is probably limited. With this in mind, it’s important you make the most of the time you do spend together.
Tips to make the most of your time:
- Put your cell phone and laptop away and turn off the television;
- Have a “date night” together with your child;
- Ask them questions;
- Value their input;
- Help them accomplish their goals;
- Be their cheerleader.
We hope this blog helps you care for your kids regardless of your custody arrangement. If you believe caring for your kids would be better with more child support or a different custody schedule, feel free to reach out to us.